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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 473983, 11 pages
Research Article

Contribution of the Residual Body in the Spatial Organization of Toxoplasma gondii Tachyzoites within the Parasitophorous Vacuole

1Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CINVESTAV-IPN), Avenue IPN No 2508, San Pedro Zacatenco, Gustavo A. Madero 07360 Mexico City, Mexico
2Subdirección de Investigación Básica, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Secretaría de Salud, 14080 Mexico City, Mexico
3Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Veracruzana, Avenue Hidalgo, Esq. Carrillo Puerto s/n, Col. Centro, 94740, VER, Mexico
4Laboratoire Adaptation et Pathogénie des Microorganismes, Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble 1, BP 170, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
5Center National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 5163, BP 170, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
6Unidad Profesional Interdisciplinaria en Ingeniería y Tecnologías Avanzadas, IPN, Avenue IPN 2580, Gustavo A. Madero 7340 Mexico City, Mexico
7Unidad de Microscopia Electrónica, CINVESTAV-IPN, Mexico

Received 4 July 2011; Revised 29 August 2011; Accepted 31 August 2011

Academic Editor: Jorge Morales-Montor

Copyright © 2011 S. Muñiz-Hernández et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Toxoplasma gondii proliferates and organizes within a parasitophorous vacuole in rosettes around a residual body and is surrounded by a membranous nanotubular network whose function remains unclear. Here, we characterized structure and function of the residual body in intracellular tachyzoites of the RH strain. Our data showed the residual body as a body limited by a membrane formed during proliferation of tachyzoites probably through the secretion of components and a pinching event of the membrane at the posterior end. It contributes in the intravacuolar parasite organization by the membrane connection between the tachyzoites posterior end and the residual body membrane to give place to the rosette conformation. Radial distribution of parasites in rosettes favors an efficient exteriorization. Absence of the network and presence of atypical residual bodies in a ΔGRA2-HXGPRT knock-out mutant affected the intravacuolar organization of tachyzoites and their exteriorization.