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N Panjwani, Z Zhao, J Baum, L D Hazlett, Z Yang; Acanthamoebae bind to rabbit corneal epithelium in vitro.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(9):1858-1864.
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PURPOSE: Selection of an appropriate animal model is crucial for the investigation of the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. To this end, it has been reported that fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled Acanthamoeba castellanii bind to human, pig, and hamster corneas, but not to rabbit corneas in organ culture. However, 35S-labeled A. polyphaga and A. culbertsoni have been found to bind to rabbit corneal epithelium grown in tissue culture. The purpose of the current study was to establish whether A. castellanii bind to rabbit corneal epithelium in organ culture. METHODS: Two different adhesion assays were used to determine whether 35S-labeled and FITC-labeled A. castellanii bind to epithelium of corneal buttons in vitro and, if so, whether the binding is temperature-dependent, enhanced by injury, and inhibited by specific saccharides. Ameba binding to rabbit corneal epithelium was also evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. The binding of A. castellanii to corneal epithelium of three different species (human, pig, and rabbit) was compared. RESULTS: Both 35S-labeled as well as FITC-labeled parasites were found to bind to epithelium of rabbit corneal buttons in vitro. Although the parasites bound avidly to the corneas at 25 degrees C and 35 degrees C, little binding was observed at 4 degrees C. Injury enhanced the binding. Methyl alpha-D-mannopyranoside, but not other saccharides (alpha-L-fucose and beta-galactose), inhibited binding of the parasites to the epithelium of rabbit corneas. By scanning EM, A. castellanii were found to adhere, invade, and penetrate the epithelium of rabbit corneas. Compared with rabbit corneas, ameba binding to pig, and human corneas was only 1.2 and 1.4 times higher, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Rabbit animal model may prove useful for investigation of the molecular mechanisms that mediate adhesion of Acanthamoeba to corneal epithelium.
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