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Effect of phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol liposomes on Entamoeba histolytica virulence

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Trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica HM-1:IMSS become less virulent after long-term maintenance in axenic cultures. The factors responsible for the loss of virulence during in vitro cultivation remain unclear. However, it is known that in vitro cultivation of amoeba in culture medium supplemented with cholesterol restores their virulence. In this study, we analyzed the effect of adding phosphatidylcholine-cholesterol (PC-Chol) liposomes to the culture medium and evaluated the effect of this lipid on various biochemical and biological functions of E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS in terms of its virulence. The addition of PC-Chol liposomes to the culture medium maintained the virulence of these parasites against hamster liver at the same level as the original virulent E. histolytica strain, even though these amoebae were maintained without passage through hamster liver for 18 months. The trophozoites also showed increased endocytosis, erythrophagocytosis, and carbohydrate residue expression on the amoebic surface. Protease activities were also modified by the presence of cholesterol in the culture medium. These findings indicate the capacity of cholesterol to preserve amoeba virulence and provide an alternative method for the maintenance of virulent E. histolytica trophozoites without the need for in vivo procedures.

Les trophozoïtes d’Entamoeba histolytica HM-1:IMSS deviennent moins virulents après avoir été maintenus en culture axénique pendant une longue période de temps. Les facteurs responsables de cette perte de virulence lors d’une culture in vitro demeurent obscurs. Cependant, on sait que la culture in vitro d’amibes dans du milieu supplémenté en cholestérol rétablit la virulence des parasites. Dans cette étude, nous avons analysé l’effet de l’ajout de liposomes de phosphatidylcholine-cholestérol (PC-Chol) dans le milieu de culture et nous avons évalué l’effet de ce lipide sur différentes fonctions biochimiques et biologiques de cette souche en lien avec sa virulence. L’ajout de liposomes PC-Chol au milieu de culture maintenait la virulence des parasites envers le foie de hamster au même niveau que celle de la souche originale virulente E. histolytica, même si ces amibes étaient maintenues sans passage dans le foie de hamster pendant 18 mois. Chez les trophozoïtes, l’endocytose, la phagocytose des érythocytes et l’expression de résidus glucides à la surface des amibes étaient également augmentées. L’activité des protéases était aussi modifiée par la présence de cholestérol dans le milieu de culture. Ces résultats indiquent la capacité du cholestérol à préserver la virulence des amibes et fournissent une méthode alternative de maintien de trophozoïtes de E. histolytica virulents sans avoir recours à des passages in vivo.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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