Unlike the synchronous Plasmodium falciparum and P. chabaudi infection, the P. berghei and P. yoelii asynchronous infections are not affected by melatonin
Piero Bagnaresi1, Eduardo Alves1, Henrique Borges da Silva1, Sabrina Epiphanio2, Maria M Mota2, Célia RS Garcia1
1Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 2Unidade de Malária, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Abstract: We have previously reported that Plasmodium chabaudi and P. falciparum sense the hormone melatonin and this could be responsible for the synchrony of malaria infection. In P. chabaudi and P. falciparum, melatonin induces calcium release from internal stores, and this response is abolished by U73122, a phospholipase C inhibitor, and luzindole, a melatoninreceptor competitive antagonist. Here we show that, in vitro, melatonin is not able to modulate cell cycle, nor to elicit an elevation in intracellular calcium concentration of the intraerythrocytic forms of P. berghei or P. yoelii, two rodent parasites that show an asynchrononous development in vivo. Interestingly, melatonin and its receptor do not seem to play a role during hepatic infection by P. berghei sporozoites either. These data strengthen the hypothesis that hostderived melatonin does not synchronize malaria infection caused by P. berghei and P. yoelii. Moreover, these data explain why infections by these parasites are asynchronous, contrary to what is observed in P. falciparum and P. chabaudi infections.
Keywords: malaria, calcium, melatonin, cell cycle, rhythm, sporozoite
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