Entry of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense into microvascular endothelial cells of the human blood-brain barrier

Olga V. Nikolskaia, Yuri V. Kim, Olga Kovbasnjuk, Kee Jun Kim, Dennis J. Grab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using an in vitro model of the human blood-brain barrier consisting of human brain microvascular endothelial cells we recently demonstrated that Trypanosoma brucei gambiense bloodstream-forms efficiently cross these cells via a paracellular route while Trypanosoma brucei brucei crosses these cells poorly. Using a combination of techniques that include fluorescence activated cell sorting, confocal and electron microscopy, we now show that some T.b. gambiense blood stream form parasites have the capacity to enter human brain microvascular endothelial cells. The intracellular location of the trypanosomes was demonstrated in relation to the endothelial cell plasma membrane and to the actin cytoskeleton. These parasites may be a terminal stage within a lysosomal compartment or they may be viable trypanosomes that will be able to exit the brain microvascular endothelial cells. This process may provide an additional transcellular route by which the parasites cross the blood-brain barrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-519
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006

Keywords

  • African trypanosomes
  • Human blood-brain barrier
  • Human brain microvascular endothelial cells
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei
  • Trypanosoma brucei gambiense

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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