The role of Ca2+ in the process of cell invasion by intracellular parasites

Parasitol Today. 1996 Feb;12(2):61-5. doi: 10.1016/0169-4758(96)80656-9.


In order to replicate, many parasites must invade host cells. Changes in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) of different parasites and tissue culture cells during their interaction have been studied. An increase in cytosolic Ca(2+) in Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes occurs after association of the parasites with host cells. Ca(2+) mobilization in the host cells also takes place upon contact with T. cruzi trypomastigotes, Leishmania donovani amastigotes or Plasmodium falciparum merozoites. When Ca(2+) transients are prevented by intracellular Ca(2+) chelators, a decrease in parasite association to host cells is observed. This reveals the importance of [Ca(2+)](i) in the process of parasite-host cell interaction, as discussed here by Roberto Docampo and Silvia Moreno.