Interaction of different Leishmania mexicana morphotypes with plasminogen

Marina Calcagno, Luisana Avilan, Cesare Colasante, Lisbeth Berrueta, Siham Salmen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction of plasminogen with Leishmania mexicana promastigotes was found, using immunoperoxidase assays, to occur with a specific morphotype. In in vitro cultured promastigotes, the morphotype that possessed the plasminogen binding capacity had round to ovoid cell bodies. In contrast, neither slender nor metacyclic promastigotes showed this property. In vivo plasminogen immunofluorescence assays showed deposits of plasminogen exclusively on the cell surface of promastigotes. This was observed as intense patches spread around the cell, with higher intensities towards the flagellar pocket. Plasminogen binding capacity detected by plasmin activity increased with the age of the promastigote culture, at pH 7.2 and pH 5.5, as well as after heat shock. The total amastigote population, freshly isolated from a hamster lesion, also bound plasminogen in a lysine-dependent manner as detected by immunoperoxidase studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)972-978
Number of pages7
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002


  • Animals
  • Cricetinae
  • Culture Media
  • Fibrinolysin/metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Leishmania mexicana/growth & development
  • Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous/parasitology
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Plasminogen/metabolism
  • Temperature


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