Cytoadherence of plasmodium berghei-infected red blood cells to murine brain and lung microvascular endothelial cells in vitro

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Infection and Immunity, 2013, 81 (11), pp. 3984 - 3991
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Sequestration of infected red blood cells (iRBC) within the cerebral and pulmonary microvasculature is a hallmark of human cerebral malaria (hCM). The interaction between iRBC and the endothelium in hCM has been studied extensively and is linked to the severity of malaria. Experimental CM (eCM) caused by Plasmodium berghei ANKA reproduces most features of hCM, although the sequestration of RBC infected by P. berghei ANKA (PbA-iRBC) has not been completely delineated. The role of PbAiRBC sequestration in the severity of eCM is not well characterized. Using static and flow cytoadherence assays, we provide the first direct in vitro evidence for the binding of PbA-iRBC to murine brain and lung microvascular endothelial cells (MVEC). We found that basal PbA-iRBC cytoadherence to MVECs was significantly higher than that of normal red blood cells (NRBC) and of RBC infected with P. berghei K173 (PbK173-iRBC), a strain that causes noncerebral malaria (NCM). MVEC prestimulation with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) failed to promote any further significant increase in mixed-stage iRBC adherence. Interestingly, enrichment of the blood for mature parasites significantly increased PbA-iRBC binding to the MVECs prestimulated with TNF, while blockade of VCAM-1 reduced this adhesion. Our study provides evidence for the firm, flow-resistant binding to endothelial cells of iRBC from strain ANKA-infected mice, which develop CM, and for less binding of iRBC from strain K173-infected mice, which develop NCM. An understanding of P. berghei cytoadherence may help elucidate the importance of sequestration in the development of CM and aid the development of antibinding therapies to help reduce the burden of this syndrome. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.
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