Improved method for in vitro secondary amastigogenesis of Trypanosoma cruzi: morphometrical and molecular analysis of intermediate developmental forms

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:283842. doi: 10.1155/2010/283842. Epub 2009 Dec 13.


Trypanosoma cruzi undergoes a biphasic life cycle that consists of four alternate developmental stages. In vitro conditions to obtain a synchronic transformation and efficient rates of pure intermediate forms (IFs), which are indispensable for further biochemical, biological, and molecular studies, have not been reported. In the present study, we established an improved method to obtain IFs from secondary amastigogenesis. During the transformation kinetics, we observed progressive decreases in the size of the parasite body, undulating membrane and flagellum that were concomitant with nucleus remodeling and kinetoplast displacement. In addition, a gradual reduction in parasite movement and acquisition of the amastigote-specific Ssp4 antigen were observed. Therefore, our results showed that the in vitro conditions used obtained large quantities of highly synchronous and pure IFs that were clearly distinguished by morphometrical and molecular analyses. Obtaining these IFs represents the first step towards an understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in amastigogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Life Cycle Stages / physiology*
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Protozoan Proteins / analysis*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / cytology*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / growth & development*


  • Protozoan Proteins