Journal of immunological methods

Isolation and characterization of brain microvascular endothelial cells from Saimiri monkeys. An in vitro model for sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes.

PMID 7622866


The adhesion of parasitized red blood cells (PRBC) to the endothelium (sequestration) may contribute to the pathogenic events in severe human malaria caused by P. falciparum. However, the factors involved in the pathophysiology, especially cerebral malaria are poorly understood. Previously, we have shown that the squirrel monkey Saimiri sciureus is a potential model for human cerebral malaria. In this paper we describe five stable clones of endothelial cell lines isolated immediately postmortem from different regions of the brain of Saimiri monkeys. The endothelial cell characteristics of these clones were confirmed by analyzing their ultrastructural aspects by transmission electron microscopy and by immunodetection of various endothelial cell markers. The Saimiri brain endothelial cell clones (SBEC) varied in their expression of different surface molecules. For example, various combinations of receptors involved in P. falciparum PRBC adherence such as CD36, ICAM-1 and E-selectin, were expressed at baseline values and could be up-regulated by human srTNF-alpha and human srIFN-gamma. One of the SBEC clones showed a strong cytoadherence for various laboratory strains of P. falciparum despite the absence of surface expression of any of the known endothelial receptors implicated in PRBC adherence. This finding suggests the existence of a new and uncharacterized PRBC binding receptor. The use of target organ specific endothelial cell lines expressing a number of different potential P. falciparum PRBC cytoadherence receptors, will be a useful in vitro system for the evaluation of strategies for the development of vaccine and antimalarial drugs to prevent human cerebral malaria.