Morphogenesis during division and griseofulvin-induced changes of the microtubular cytoskeleton in the parasitic protist, Trichomonas vaginalis

Parasitol Res. 2003 Apr;89(6):487-94. doi: 10.1007/s00436-002-0811-4. Epub 2003 Jan 21.


The behavior of microtubular structures during division was followed by immunofluorescence in Trichomonas vaginalis using an anti-alpha-tubulin monoclonal antibody together with nuclear staining by DAPI, allowing us to describe successive mitotic stages. In contrast to recent reports, we showed that: (1) the microtubular axostyle-pelta complex depolymerized during division, (2) the flagella were assembled during mitosis, and (3) the flagellar number was restored in each daughter kinetid before cytokinesis. Observation of griseofulvin-treated T. vaginalis cells revealed that the elongation of the mitotic spindle or paradesmosis was not the main motile force separating the daughter kinetids to opposite poles during division, suggesting the existence of other mechanisms and/or molecules involved in this morphogenetic event. Examination of treated cells re-incubated in fresh medium showed the nucleation of microtubules radiating from the perinuclear area, the origin of which is discussed. Finally, we confirm the effectiveness of griseofulvin against T. vaginalis and propose that this antifungal drug could be a promising antitrichomonal agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antitrichomonal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods
  • Griseofulvin / pharmacology*
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Microtubules / drug effects*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Morphogenesis
  • Time Factors
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / cytology
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / drug effects*
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / growth & development
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / ultrastructure*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antitrichomonal Agents
  • Griseofulvin