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Enhanced Metabolism of Leishmania donovani Amastigotes at Acid pH: An Adaptation for Intracellular Growth

Antony J. Mukkada, John C. Meade, Theresa A. Glaser and Peter F. Bonventre
Science
New Series, Vol. 229, No. 4718 (Sep. 13, 1985), pp. 1099-1101
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1695820
Page Count: 3
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Enhanced Metabolism of Leishmania donovani Amastigotes at Acid pH: An Adaptation for Intracellular Growth
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Abstract

Amastigotes (tissue forms) of Leishmania donovani isolated from infected hamster spleens carried out several physiological activities (respiration, catabolism of energy substrates, and incorporation of precursors into macromolecules) optimally at pH 4.0 to 5.5. All metabolic activities that were examined decreased sharply above the optimal pH. Promastigotes (culture forms), on the other hand, carried out the same metabolic activities optimally at or near neutral pH. This adaptation to an acid environment may account in part for the unusual ability of amastigotes to survive and multiply within the acidic environment of the phagolysosomes in vivo.

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