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Plasmodium gallinaceum Preferentially Invades Vesicular ATPase-Expressing Cells in Aedes aegypti Midgut

Mohammed Shahabuddin and Paulo F. P. Pimenta
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 95, No. 7 (Mar. 31, 1998), pp. 3385-3389
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/44492
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Plasmodium gallinaceum Preferentially Invades Vesicular ATPase-Expressing Cells in Aedes aegypti Midgut
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Abstract

Penetration of the mosquito midgut epithelium is obligatory for the further development of Plasmodium parasites. Therefore, blocking the parasite from invading the midgut wall disrupts the transmission of malaria. Despite such a pivotal role in malaria transmission, the cellular and molecular interactions that occur during the invasion are not understood. Here, we demonstrate that the ookinetes of Plasmodium gallinaceum, which is related closely to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, selectively invade a cell type in the Aedes aegypti midgut. These cells, unlike the majority of the cells in the midgut, do not stain with a basophilic dye (toluidine blue) and are less osmiophilic. In addition, they contain minimal endoplasmic reticulum, lack secretory granules, and have few microvilli. Instead, these cells are highly vacuolated and express large amounts of vesicular ATPase. The enzyme is associated with the apical plasma membrane, cytoplasmic vesicles, and tubular extensions of the basal membrane of the invaded cells. The high cost of insecticide use in endemic areas and the emergence of drug resistant malaria parasites call for alternative approaches such as modifying the mosquito to block the transmission of malaria. One of the targets for such modification is the parasite receptor on midgut cells. A step toward the identification of this receptor is the realization that malaria parasites invade a special cell type in the mosquito midgut.

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