Cyst formation by Toxoplasma gondii in vivo and in brain-cell culture: a comparative morphology and immunocytochemistry study

Parasitol Res. 1997;83(7):659-65. doi: 10.1007/s004360050315.


Formation of Toxoplasma gondii cysts was examined in cultured murine brain cells and was compared with the development of cysts in mouse-brain tissue. Cultures of mixed glial cells from neonatal mouse brain were infected with bradyzoites of the avirulent T. gondii strain DX. The development and maturation of Toxoplasma cysts was monitored for up to 63 days after inoculation. Transmission electron microscopy indicated that in-vitro-derived cysts were morphologically similar to tissue cysts and were located intracellularly, even for up to 63 days postinfection. For immunohistological and immunocytochemical examination of both in-vivo- and in-vitro-infected material, monoclonal antibody (mAb) CC2 was used. MAb CC2 was shown to detect specifically the underlying granular material of the cyst wall without binding to the limiting membrane of the parasitophorous vacuole. This reactivity of mAb CC2 allows the distinction of bradyzoite-containing cysts from parasitophorous vacuoles harboring tachyzoites both in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amylopectin
  • Animals
  • Brain / parasitology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cysts / parasitology
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neuroglia / parasitology
  • Toxoplasma / growth & development*
  • Toxoplasma / ultrastructure
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / pathology*


  • Amylopectin