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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 29(2):1991 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1991 Jun;29(2):121-128. English.
Published online Mar 20, 1994.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1991.29.2.121
Copyright © 1991 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
Cell cycle-dependent entry of Toxoplasma gondii into synchronized HL-60 cells
J H Youn,H W Nam,D J Kim,Y M Park,W K Kim,W S Kim and W Y Choi
Catholic Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Catholic University Medical College, Seoul 137-701, Korea.

The degree of attraction of Toxoplasma gondii to vertebrate cells varies with cell type and cell phase. Human promyelocytic leukemia cells, HL-60, were synchronized by double thymidine block method and co-cultured with Toxoplasma for 1 hr at each cell stage to investigate the cell cycle specific susceptibility of parasites to host cells.

For 30 hr the average number of Toxoplasma that invaded was a little changed except at 3 hr from G1/S phase boundary which concurred with the peak point of DNA synthesis. At 3 hr which is a relatively short interval compared to whole S phase, modification of cells by parasitic invasion was most remarkable. The number of Toxoplasma that penetrated was increased to more than six times. The shape of the cells became sludgy and almost indiscernible by strong accessibility of parasites only for an hour of mid-S phase. The same fluctuation was also observed at the second peak of S phase but weakly.

This suggests that there be surface molecules concerning with the attachment of Toxoplasma to the host cells, which is expressed at special point of S phase. Further studies on the specific protein or similar molecules related could be carried out using synchronized HL-60 cells.


Fig. 1
Degree of synchronization of HL-60 cells. A: [3H]-thymidine uptake of HL-60 cells which reached peaks at 3 hr and 19 hr, B: Mitotic index which increased from 8 hr, and C: Increase of cell number.

Fig. 2
Cell cycle-dependent entry of Toxoplasma into synchronized HL-60 cells. After co-culture for 1hr the number of intracellular parasites were counted at each time interval.

Plate I
Giemsa stained photographs of synchronized HL-60 cells co-cultured with Toxoplasma at each cell stage, which showed cell features at 0, 1.5 3 4.5 6. 10 12and 19 hr from G1/S boundary.

Plate II
Giemsa stained photographs of characteristic patterns of Toxoplasma invasion at mid-S phase. 1: synchronized HL-60 cells only, 2: HL-60 cells invaded by Toxoplasma at mid-S phase, 3: HL-60 cells invaded at second peak of DNA synthesis.

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