Factors which affect adhesion of cultured Trypanosoma congolense bloodstream forms to mammalian feeder cells have been examined. Using an in vitro binding assay, the initial events following interaction of trypanosomes with bovine aorta endothelial (BAE) cells were monitored by both light- and electron microscopy. Metabolic inhibitors and other biochemicals were incubated with either cells or parasites, to test whether any inhibited the process. Our findings suggest that adhesion of the parasites is an active process requiring metabolic energy from the trypanosomes, but not from endothelial cells. We also provide data suggesting that T. congolense bloodstream forms possess a lectin-like domain, localized at distinct sites on their flagellar surface, which interacts with specific carbohydrate receptors, most likely sialic acid residues, on the endothelial cell plasma membrane. We also suggest that the cytoskeletal protein actin is probably involved in this interaction.
Hemphill, A.; Frame, I.; Ross, C.A. The interaction of Trypanosoma congolense with endothelial cells. Parasitology (1994) 109 (5) 631-641. [DOI: 10.1017/S0031182000076514]