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Open AccessArticle

Schwann Cell Autophagy and Necrosis as Mechanisms of Cell Death by Acanthamoeba

Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), Av. Ciudad Universitaria 3000, Coyoacán P.C. 04510, Mexico
Laboratorio de Amibas Anfizoicas, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala (FESI), Medicina, UNAM, Tlalnepantla 54090, Mexico
Departamento de Infectómica y Patogénesis Molecular, CINVESTAV-IPN, Ciudad de Mexico 07360, Mexico
Departamento de Neuropatología, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía “Manuel Velasco Suárez”, Ciudad de Mexico 14269, Mexico
Laboratorio de Histología y Patología, FESI, Medicina, UNAM, Tlalnepantla 54090, Mexico
Departamento de Fisiología, Biofísica y Neurociencias, CINVESTAV–IPN, Ciudad de Mexico 07360, Mexico
Centro de Investigación en Ciencias de la Salud, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Anáhuac, Huixquilucan C.P. 52786, Mexico
Departamento de Neurociencia. FESI, UNAM, Tlalnepantla 54090, Mexico
Laboratorio de Inmunología, FESI, UNAM, Tlalnepantla 54090, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 458;
Received: 30 April 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 7 June 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
Amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba are etiological agents of granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE). Recently, through an in vivo GAE model, Acanthamoeba trophozoites were immunolocalized in contact with the peripheral nervous system (PNS) cells—Schwann cells (SC). In this study, we analyzed in greater detail the in vitro early morphological events (1, 2, 3, and 4 h) during the interaction of A. culbertsoni trophozoites (ATCC 30171) with SC from Rattus norvegicus (ATCC CRL-2941). Samples were processed for scanning and transmission electron microscopy as well as confocal microscopy. After 1 h of interaction, amoebae were observed to be adhered to the SC cultures, emitting sucker-like structures associated with micro-phagocytic channels. In addition, evidence of necrosis was identified since edematous organelles as well as multivesicular and multilamellar bodies characteristics of autophagy were detected. At 2 h, trophozoites migrated beneath the SC culture in which necrosis and autophagy persisted. By 3 and 4 h, extensive lytic zones were observed. SC necrosis was confirmed by confocal microscopy. We reported for the first time the induction of autophagic and necrotic processes in PNS cells, associated in part with the contact-dependent pathogenic mechanisms of A. culbertsoni trophozoites. View Full-Text
Keywords: Acanthamoeba; Schwann cell; autophagy; cell death; necrosis; cytopathic effect Acanthamoeba; Schwann cell; autophagy; cell death; necrosis; cytopathic effect
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Castelan-Ramírez, I.; Salazar-Villatoro, L.; Chávez-Munguía, B.; Salinas-Lara, C.; Sánchez-Garibay, C.; Flores-Maldonado, C.; Hernández-Martínez, D.; Anaya-Martínez, V.; Ávila-Costa, M.R.; Méndez-Cruz, A.R.; Omaña-Molina, M. Schwann Cell Autophagy and Necrosis as Mechanisms of Cell Death by Acanthamoeba. Pathogens 2020, 9, 458.

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