Rosetting Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes bind to human brain microvascular endothelial cells in vitro, demonstrating a dual adhesion phenotype mediated by distinct P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 domains

Yvonne Adams, Pongsak Kuhnrae, Matthew K Higgins, Ashfaq Ghumra, J Alexandra Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adhesion interactions between Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE) and human cells underlie the pathology of severe malaria. IE cytoadhere to microvascular endothelium or form rosettes with uninfected erythrocytes to survive in vivo by sequestering IE in the microvasculature and avoiding splenic clearance mechanisms. Both rosetting and cytoadherence are mediated by the parasite-derived IE surface protein family Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1). Rosetting and cytoadherence have been widely studied as separate entities; however, the ability of rosetting P. falciparum strains to cytoadhere has received little attention. Here, we show that IE of the IT/R29 strain expressing a rosette-mediating PfEMP1 variant (IT4var09) cytoadhere in vitro to a human brain microvascular endothelial cell line (HBEC-5i). Cytoadherence was inhibited by heparin and by treatment of HBEC-5i with heparinase III, suggesting that the endothelial receptors for IE binding are heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Antibodies to the N-terminal regions of the IT4var09 PfEMP1 variant (NTS-DBL1α and DBL2γ domains) specifically inhibited and reversed cytoadherence down to low concentrations (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-59
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume82
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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