Induction of crisis forms in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum by gamma-interferon-activated, monocyte-derived macrophages.


Journal Article

Previous investigations on the mechanism by which the host mounts an immune response against the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have not resolved whether cell-mediated responses, in the absence of circulating anti-Plasmodial antibodies, can effect the destruction of the intraerythrocytic parasite. We report that the intraerythrocytic parasite P. falciparum is lethally susceptible to the imposition of oxygen-dependent and oxygen-independent factor(s) released by interferon-gamma-activated, monocyte-derived human macrophages. In addition, trophozoite-schizont stage intraerythrocytic parasites were killed on exposure to small amounts of H2O2 generated in cell-free enzyme assays. Although parasiticidal activity was markedly enhanced by the addition of lactoperoxidase and KI, killing was abrogated by the addition of catalase. The ability of freshly isolated human monocytes, monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), and lymphokine-activated MDM to kill or inhibit the growth and multiplication of the malaria parasites was assessed. Parasites were killed when exposed to monocytes or lymphokine-activated MDM, but not when exposed to nonactivated macrophages. The capacity to activate MDM for microbicidal activity was abrogated on neutralization of crude lymphokines or recombinant interferon-gamma with a monoclonal antibody prepared against interferon-gamma. The intraerythrocytic parasites surviving the cytotoxicity assay were inhibited in their development and appeared to be degenerating, a characteristic of "crisis" forms. Killing of P. falciparum correlated positively with the magnitude of the oxidative response, as evidenced by the reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium to formazan in the mononuclear phagocytes, and by the detection of secreted H2O2. Of particular interest was the observation that only the later developing stage of the intracellular parasite triggered the respiratory burst in the absence of antibody. A role for oxygen-independent parasiticidal factors was suggested by the finding that lymphokine-activated macrophages from a patient with chronic granulomatous disease were able to partially inhibit the growth of P. falciparum, although oxidative metabolism in these cells was impaired.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Ockenhouse, CF; Schulman, S; Shear, HL

Published Date

  • September 1, 1984

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 133 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 1601 - 1608

PubMed ID

  • 6431003

Pubmed Central ID

  • 6431003

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1767


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States