Scientific article

Infection of organotypic slice cultures from rat central nervous tissue with Trypanosoma brucei brucei

Published inInternational journal of medical microbiology, vol. 290, no. 1, p. 105-113
Publication date2000

We recently described a new procedure to grow nervous tissue as organotypic culture. The main feature of these slice cultures is to maintain a well preserved, three-dimensional organisation of the central nervous tissue. As these cultures can be kept for several weeks (up to three months), we have used this in vitro approach to study the complex interactions between host tissue and parasites during late stages of cerebral African trypanosomiasis. Light and electron microscopical studies, as well as electrophysiological recordings demonstrate that the structure and function of the nervous tissue is not severely affected even after several weeks of trypanosome infection. The presence of a large number of parasites does not seem to be deleterious to neuronal survival. Secondly, most of the trypanosomes are located around the periphery of the nervous tissue, but many of them also penetrate into the nervous parenchyma. Thirdly, trypanosomes with well-conserved morphology are found within the cytoplasm of glial cells, which in some cases were identified as astrocytes. These "intracellular parasites" seem to actively invade the target cells. Our study demonstrates that the presence of proliferating trypanosomes does not per se interfere with the neural activity of CNS tissues. Secondly, it provides, to the best of our knowledge, the first in vitro demonstration of intracellular forms of African trypanosomes.

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Parasitic
  • Infections/parasitology/pathology/ physiopathology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Hippocampus/ parasitology
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neurons/ parasitology/physiology
  • Organ Culture Techniques/methods
  • Rats
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei/growth & development/ pathogenicity
  • Trypanosomiasis, African/parasitology/pathology/ physiopathology
Citation (ISO format)
STOPPINI, Luc et al. Infection of organotypic slice cultures from rat central nervous tissue with Trypanosoma brucei brucei. In: International journal of medical microbiology, 2000, vol. 290, n° 1, p. 105–113. doi: 10.1016/s1438-4221(00)80113-7
ISSN of the journal1438-4221

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