Interactions between Encephalitozoon cuniculi and macrophages. Parasitophorous vacuole growth and the absence of lysosomal fusion

Z Parasitenkd. 1975 Aug 21;47(1):1-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00418060.


Encephalitozoon cuniculi grow within ever-increasing parasitophorous vacuoles (PV) in peritoneal macrophages. The PV boundary membrane conforms to a rich arrangement of blebs; similar, but free vesicles were observed within the PV space. An iron dextran-concanavalin A marker was used to express visually clustered distributions of Con A receptors on the PV boundary blebs and free vesicles; no marker was observed on other membrane surfaces within the PV. These results, combined with the observation that the PV grows while the host cytoplasm decreases in mass, implicate the PV boundary blebs of interiorizing into vesicles by a pinocytic mechanism. Phagocytic vacuoles, secondary lysosomes and pinocytic vesicles were labeled by incubating infected macrophages in minimum essential medium with ferritin. Ferritin readily accumulated in secondary lysosomes and phagocytic vacuoles; however, ferritin was excluded from parasitophorous vacuoles containing E. cuniculi. Acid phosphatase cytochemical reaction product was observed in lysosomes and phagocytic vacuoles; however, parasitophorous vacuoles with vegetative E. cuniculi were always negative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Ascitic Fluid / cytology
  • Concanavalin A
  • Eukaryota / growth & development*
  • Eukaryota / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Ferritins
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Lysosomes / enzymology
  • Lysosomes / ultrastructure
  • Macrophages / enzymology
  • Macrophages / parasitology*
  • Macrophages / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Phagocytosis
  • Vacuoles / enzymology
  • Vacuoles / parasitology
  • Vacuoles / ultrastructure


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Concanavalin A
  • Ferritins
  • Acid Phosphatase