Electron microscopic studies on the interaction of rat Kupffer cells and Plasmodium berghei sporozoites

Z Parasitenkd. 1985;71(4):473-83. doi: 10.1007/BF00928350.


The interactions between Plasmodium berghei sporozoites and Kupffer cells in rat liver were studied by transmission electron microscopy. Between 10 and 45 min after inoculation, sporozoites were found in the process of entering Kupffer cells and inside phagolysosomes. The sporozoites entered the Kupffer cells by phagocytosis as determined by the presence of pseudopods and local accumulations of aggregated microfilaments and the resulting exclusion of other organelles in the phagocyte cytoplasm beneath the attached parasite. Sporozoites were taken up either with their anterior end first, or backwards. Scanning electron microscopy of in vitro sporozoite Kupffer cell interaction confirmed these observations. It was concluded that sporozoites are taken up in a normal phagocytic way by the Kupffer cells, regardless of their initial place of contact or position. Thirty min after inoculation sporozoites found in phagolysosomes were still morphologically intact but after 45 min we could encounter completely digested sporozoites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Kupffer Cells / parasitology*
  • Kupffer Cells / physiology
  • Kupffer Cells / ultrastructure
  • Lysosomes / parasitology
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Phagocytosis*
  • Plasmodium berghei / physiology
  • Plasmodium berghei / ultrastructure*
  • Rats
  • Time Factors