Sequestration in Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria: Sticky Cells and Sticky Problems

Parasitol Today. 1990 Aug;6(8):247-54. doi: 10.1016/0169-4758(90)90184-6.


Plasmodium falciparum is unique among the human malarias in displaying the phenomenon of sequestration, in which mature infected erythrocytes adhere to post-capillary and capillary venular endothelium. In this review, Tony Berendt, David Ferguson and Chris Newbold describe the molecular and cellular biology of sequestration and cytoadherence. Potential host receptors identified to date that are expressed on endothelial cells (CD36, thrombospondin and ICAM-1) and the parasite-mediated changes in the infected erythrocyte (knob formation, senescence and the expression of parasite-derived neoantigens) are considered as well as the relevance of sequestration as a virulence factor in human disease and its potential role in parasite biology.