Ultrastructural characteristics of in vitro parasite-lymphocyte behaviour in invasions with Theileria annulata and Theileria parva

Vet Parasitol. 1983 May;12(2):115-34. doi: 10.1016/0304-4017(83)90001-8.


Host-parasite relationships have been studied by electron microscopy using glutaraldehyde-OsO4-fixed pellets of lymphoid cultures infected in vitro by Theileria annulata and T. parva. Intracellular presence of the parasite resulted in a progressive and marked lymphoblastoid transformation. The schizont stage periodically provoked the formation of, and adopted an intimate association with, cytoplasmic annulate lamellae in the interphase cell. Annulate lamellae developed from the outer nuclear membrane of the host cell by a delamination process and were taken into the cytoplasmic matrix of the schizont by phagotrophy through the cytostome. Schizont nuclei themselves were seen to divide at the prometaphase stage of host cell mitosis, the division being characterized by the development of intranuclear spindle microtubules anchored in spindle pole bodies. A hypothesis is propounded that Theileria parasites, consequent on interiorization, provoke the blastoid transformation and the formation of annulate lamellae through the influence of components of their genomic material on host cell deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and that the annulate lamellae represent a species of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) and serve as a monitoring device for the schizont, facilitating the accurate timing of the host cell cyclical events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apicomplexa / genetics
  • Apicomplexa / physiology*
  • Apicomplexa / ultrastructure
  • Autoradiography
  • Cattle
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / parasitology*
  • Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • Microtubules / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Theileriasis / parasitology
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • RNA, Messenger
  • DNA