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Acanthamoeba castellanii is the etiological agent of granulomatous amebic encephalitis, amebic keratitis, and skin lesions. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that Acanthamoeba trophozoites induce contact-dependent, and contact-independent pathogenic mechanisms. We have explored the potential role neuroactive substances may have in the migration of Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites using Transwell permeable supports in the presence of physiological concentrations of dopamine, glutamate, serotonin, or taurine diluted in PBS. Quantitation of migrated amoebae was carried out in scanning electron micrographs of the upper and under compartments sides of the chamber membranes. Our results showed that at 2 h of interaction, a statistically significant larger proportion of A. castellanii trophozoites migrated through the chamber membranes when neurotransmitters were placed in the lower compartments of the chambers compared to control. This migration effect was more evident under the presence of glutamate and taurine on the three surfaces (upper/lower membrane and bottom compartment) when the percentage of migrated trophozoites was analyzed. Scanning electron microscopy of trophozoites revealed that glutamate and taurine induced the formation of large adhesion lamellas and phagocytic stomas. These observations suggest that certain neuroactive substances could stimulate the migration of A. castellanii trophozoites in the central nervous system. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Daniel Talamás-Lara, Anel Lagunes-Guillén, Bibiana Chávez-Munguía, Lizbeth Salazar-Villatoro, Karla Acosta-Virgen, Maritza Omaña-Molina, Martha Espinosa-Cantellano, Adolfo Martínez-Palomo. Acanthamoeba castellanii: Effect of neuroactive substances on trophozoite migration. Experimental parasitology. 2022 May-Jun;236-237:108245

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PMID: 35283169

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