[Molecular cross talk between Toxoplasma gondii and the host immune system]

Med Sci (Paris). 2008 Feb;24(2):191-6. doi: 10.1051/medsci/2008242191.
[Article in French]


Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that frequently infects a large spectrum of warm-blooded animals. This parasite induces abortion and establishes both chronic and silent infections, particularly in the brain. The chronic infection is therefore a permanent threat for the host in cases of immunosuppression. Parasite penetration into the host activates a strong anti-parasite immune response, but is also used by the parasite to chronically persist. In the present paper, we discuss the data obtained in the laboratory of John Boothroyd that reports the molecular cross talk between the parasite rhoptry proteins and the host cell. During host cell invasion, rhoptries participate to the constitution of the mobile junction that drives the parasite into the host cell, while building the parasitophorus vacuole in which the parasite grows. Some soluble rhoptries, such as ROP16, are shed into the cytoplasm, and then reach the nucleus where they can eventually impact different signaling pathways such as STAT3/6, key molecules in the immune response establishment.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Reproduction
  • Toxoplasma / immunology*
  • Toxoplasma / physiology
  • Toxoplasmosis / immunology*