Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Infection and Immunity


Geisel School of Medicine


The initial attachment of Toxoplasma tachyzoites to target host cells is an important event in the life cycle of the parasite and hence critical in the pathogenesis of this infection. The efficiency of Toxoplasma attachment to synchronized populations of Chinese hamster ovary cells and bovine kidney cells was investigated by using a glutaraldehyde-fixed host cell assay system. For both cell lines, parasite attachment increased as the synchronized host cells proceeded from the G1 phase to the mid-S phase and then decreased as the cells entered the G2-M boundary. Postulating that these differences in attachment reflect the upregulation of a specific receptor, polyclonal antibodies were generated against whole MDBK antigen at 0 and 4 h into the S phase. Both antisera were shown to inhibit parasite attachment to both synchronous and asynchronous host cell populations. However, the attachment blockade observed with the 4-h antiserum was significantly greater than that with the 0-h antiserum, completely abolishing the cell cycle-dependent increase in attachment found in control samples. These findings suggest that Toxoplasma tachyzoites bind specifically to a host cell receptor which is upregulated in the mid-S phase of the cell cycle.

Original Citation

Grimwood J, Mineo JR, Kasper LH. Attachment of Toxoplasma gondii to host cells is host cell cycle dependent. Infect Immun. 1996;64(10):4099-4104. doi:10.1128/IAI.64.10.4099-4104.1996