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Vol. 24, No. 3-4, 2009
Issue release date: 2009
Cell Physiol Biochem 2009;24:133–140
(DOI:10.1159/000233238)

Suicide for Survival - Death of Infected Erythrocytes as a Host Mechanism to Survive Malaria

Föller M.1 · Bobbala D.1 · Koka S.1 · Huber S.M.2 · Gulbins E.3 · Lang F.1
Departments of1Physiology and2Radiation Oncology, University of Tübingen,3Department of Molecular Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen
email Corresponding Author

Abstract

The pathogen of malaria, Plasmodium, enters erythrocytes and thus escapes recognition by the immune system. The pathogen induces oxidative stress to the host erythrocyte, which triggers eryptosis, the suicidal death of erythrocytes. Eryptosis is characterized by cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing and cell membrane phospholipid scrambling with phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface. Phosphatidylserine-exposing erythrocytes are identified by macrophages which engulf and degrade the eryptotic cells. To the extent that infected erythrocytes undergo eryptosis prior to exit of Plasmodiaand subsequent infection of other erythrocytes, the premature eryptosis may protect against malaria. Accordingly, any therapeutical intervention accelerating suicidal death of infected erythrocytes has the potential to foster elimination of infected erythrocytes, delay the development of parasitemia and favorably influence the course of malaria. Eryptosis is stimulated by a wide variety of triggers including osmotic shock, oxidative stress, energy depletion and a wide variety of xenobiotics. Diseases associated with accelerated eryptosis include sepsis, haemolytic uremic syndrome, malaria, sickle-cell anemia, beta-thalassemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficiency, phosphate depletion, iron deficiency and Wilson’s disease. Among the known stimulators of eryptosis, paclitaxel, chlorpromazine, cyclosporine, curcumin, PGE2 and lead have indeed been shown to favourably influence the course of malaria. Moreover, sickle-cell trait, beta-thalassemia trait, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficiency and iron deficiency confer some protection against a severe course of malaria. Importantly, counteracting Plasmodia by inducing eryptosis is not expected to generate resistance of the pathogen, as the proteins involved in suicidal death of the host cell are not encoded by the pathogen and thus cannot be modified by mutations of its genes.


 Outline


 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Apoptosis
  • Red blood cells
  • Malaria
  • Oxidative stress
  • Anemia

 goto top of outline Abstract

The pathogen of malaria, Plasmodium, enters erythrocytes and thus escapes recognition by the immune system. The pathogen induces oxidative stress to the host erythrocyte, which triggers eryptosis, the suicidal death of erythrocytes. Eryptosis is characterized by cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing and cell membrane phospholipid scrambling with phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface. Phosphatidylserine-exposing erythrocytes are identified by macrophages which engulf and degrade the eryptotic cells. To the extent that infected erythrocytes undergo eryptosis prior to exit of Plasmodiaand subsequent infection of other erythrocytes, the premature eryptosis may protect against malaria. Accordingly, any therapeutical intervention accelerating suicidal death of infected erythrocytes has the potential to foster elimination of infected erythrocytes, delay the development of parasitemia and favorably influence the course of malaria. Eryptosis is stimulated by a wide variety of triggers including osmotic shock, oxidative stress, energy depletion and a wide variety of xenobiotics. Diseases associated with accelerated eryptosis include sepsis, haemolytic uremic syndrome, malaria, sickle-cell anemia, beta-thalassemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficiency, phosphate depletion, iron deficiency and Wilson’s disease. Among the known stimulators of eryptosis, paclitaxel, chlorpromazine, cyclosporine, curcumin, PGE2 and lead have indeed been shown to favourably influence the course of malaria. Moreover, sickle-cell trait, beta-thalassemia trait, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficiency and iron deficiency confer some protection against a severe course of malaria. Importantly, counteracting Plasmodia by inducing eryptosis is not expected to generate resistance of the pathogen, as the proteins involved in suicidal death of the host cell are not encoded by the pathogen and thus cannot be modified by mutations of its genes.

Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Prof. Dr. Florian Lang
Physiologisches Institut der Universität Tübingen
Gmelinstr. 5, D-72076 Tübingen (Germany)
Tel. +49 7071 29 72194, Fax: +49 7071 29 5618
E-Mail florian.lang@uni-tuebingen.de


 goto top of outline Article Information

Accepted: April 19, 2009
Published online: August 03, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 8


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry (International Journal of Experimental Cellular Physiology, Biochemistry andPharmacology)

Vol. 24, No. 3-4, Year 2009 (Cover Date: 2009)

Journal Editor: F. Lang, Tübingen
ISSN: 1015–8987 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9778 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/cpb


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

Abstract

The pathogen of malaria, Plasmodium, enters erythrocytes and thus escapes recognition by the immune system. The pathogen induces oxidative stress to the host erythrocyte, which triggers eryptosis, the suicidal death of erythrocytes. Eryptosis is characterized by cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing and cell membrane phospholipid scrambling with phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface. Phosphatidylserine-exposing erythrocytes are identified by macrophages which engulf and degrade the eryptotic cells. To the extent that infected erythrocytes undergo eryptosis prior to exit of Plasmodiaand subsequent infection of other erythrocytes, the premature eryptosis may protect against malaria. Accordingly, any therapeutical intervention accelerating suicidal death of infected erythrocytes has the potential to foster elimination of infected erythrocytes, delay the development of parasitemia and favorably influence the course of malaria. Eryptosis is stimulated by a wide variety of triggers including osmotic shock, oxidative stress, energy depletion and a wide variety of xenobiotics. Diseases associated with accelerated eryptosis include sepsis, haemolytic uremic syndrome, malaria, sickle-cell anemia, beta-thalassemia, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficiency, phosphate depletion, iron deficiency and Wilson’s disease. Among the known stimulators of eryptosis, paclitaxel, chlorpromazine, cyclosporine, curcumin, PGE2 and lead have indeed been shown to favourably influence the course of malaria. Moreover, sickle-cell trait, beta-thalassemia trait, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficiency and iron deficiency confer some protection against a severe course of malaria. Importantly, counteracting Plasmodia by inducing eryptosis is not expected to generate resistance of the pathogen, as the proteins involved in suicidal death of the host cell are not encoded by the pathogen and thus cannot be modified by mutations of its genes.



 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Prof. Dr. Florian Lang
Physiologisches Institut der Universität Tübingen
Gmelinstr. 5, D-72076 Tübingen (Germany)
Tel. +49 7071 29 72194, Fax: +49 7071 29 5618
E-Mail florian.lang@uni-tuebingen.de


 goto top of outline Article Information

Accepted: April 19, 2009
Published online: August 03, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 8


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry (International Journal of Experimental Cellular Physiology, Biochemistry andPharmacology)

Vol. 24, No. 3-4, Year 2009 (Cover Date: 2009)

Journal Editor: F. Lang, Tübingen
ISSN: 1015–8987 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9778 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/cpb


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.