Plasmodium gallinaceum ookinetes adhere specifically to the midgut epithelium of Aedes aegypti by interaction with a carbohydrate ligand.

Autor(es): Zieler H; Nawrocki J P; Shahabuddin M

Resumo: During the course of its development in the mosquito and transmission to a new vertebrate host, the malaria parasite must interact with the mosquito midgut and invade the gut epithelium. To investigate how the parasite recognizes the midgut before invasion, we have developed an in vitro adhesion assay based on combining fluorescently labelled ookinetes with isolated midgut epithelia from blood-fed mosquitoes. Using this assay, we found that Plasmodium gallinaceum ookinetes readily adhered to midguts of Aedes aegypti, mimicking the natural recognition of the epithelium by the parasite. This interaction is specific: the ookinetes preferentially adhered to the lumen (microvillar) side of the gut epithelium and did not bind to other mosquito tissues. Conversely, the binding was not due to a non-specific adhesive property of the midguts, because a variety of other cell types, including untransformed P. gallinaceum zygotes or macrogametes, did not show similar binding to the midguts. High concentrations of glycosylated (fetuin, orosomucoid, ovalbumin) or non-glycosylated (bovine serum albumin) proteins, added as non-specific competitors, failed to compete with the ookinetes in binding assays. We also found that the adhesion of ookinetes to the midgut surface is necessary for sporogonic development of the parasite in the mosquito. Antibodies and other reagents that blocked adhesion in vitro also reduced oocyst formation when these reagents were combined with mature ookinetes and fed to mosquitoes. Chemical modification of the midguts with sodium periodate at pH 5.5 destroyed adhesion, indicating that the ookinete binds to a carbohydrate ligand on the surface of the midgut. The ligand is sensitive to periodate concentrations of less than 1 mmol l-1, suggesting that it may contain sialic-acid-like sugars. Furthermore, free N-acetylneuraminic acid competed with the ookinetes in binding aasays, while other monosaccharides had no effect. However, in agreement with the current belief that adult insects do not contain sialic acids, we were unable to detect any sialic acids in mosquito midguts using the most sensitive HPLC-based fluorometric assay currently available. We postulate that a specific carbohydrate group is used by the ookinete to recognize the midgut epithelium and to attach to its surface. This is the first receptor-ligand interaction demonstrated for the ookinete stage of a malaria parasite. Further characterization of the midgut ligand and its parasite counterpart may lead to novel strategies of blocking oocyst development in the mosquito.

Imprenta: The Journal of Experimental Biology, v. 202, pt. 5, p. 485-495, 1999

Descritores: Aedes aegypti - Cell ; Aedes aegypti - Proteins ; Aedes aegypti - Antibodies ; Aedes aegypti - Infectious diseases ; Aedes aegypti - Transmission

Data de publicação: 1999