OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of platelet:erythrocyte (P:E) ratios on Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion.
BACKGROUND: Recent reports have shown that platelets are directly involved in the immune response towards P. falciparum during erythrocyte invasion. However, the literature both supports and conflicts with a role for platelets in limiting invasion. Also, the effect of platelet numbers on invasion (parasitemia) has not been thoroughly investigated.
METHODS/MATERIALS: The P. falciparum strains FCR3S1.2 and W2mef were cultured with group O erythrocytes. The cultures were synchronised and supplemented with pooled platelets at P:E ratios ranging from 1:100 to 1:2. Parasitemia was measured at 40 h by flow cytometry and by microscopy of blood smears.
RESULTS: A linear relationship was observed between reduced invasion and increased platelet numbers at P:E ratios ranging from 1:100 to 1:20. However, this effect was reversed at lower ratios (1:10-1:2). Microscopic evaluation revealed aggregation and attachment of platelets to erythrocytes, but not specifically to parasitised erythrocytes.
CONCLUSION: We have shown that under physiological P:E ratios (approx. 1:10-1:40), platelets inhibited P. falciparum invasion in a dose-dependent manner. At ratios of 1:10 and below, platelets did not further increase the inhibitory effect and, although the trend was reversed, inhibition was still maintained.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Cell and Molecular Biology