José M Albuquerque-Cunha

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Publications (7)13.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we investigated the involvement of sulfated glycosaminoglycans in both the in vivo development and adhesion of T. cruzi epimastigotes to the luminal surface of the digestive tract of the insect vector, Rhodnius prolixus. Pre-incubation of T. cruzi, Dm 28c epimastigotes with heparin, chondroitin 4-sulfate, chondroitin 6-sulfate or protamine chloridrate inhibited in vitro attachment of parasites to the insect midgut. Enzymatic removal of heparan sulfate moieties by heparinase I or of chondroitin sulfate moieties by chondroitinase AC from the insect posterior midgut abolished epimastigote attachment in vitro. These treatments also reduced the labelling of anionic sites exposed at the luminal surface of the perimicrovillar membranes in the triatomine midgut epithelial cells. Inclusion of chondroitin 4-sulfate or chondroitin 6-sulfate and to a lesser extent, heparin, in the T. cruzi-infected bloodmeal inhibited the establishment of parasites in R. prolixus. These observations indicate that sulfated glycosaminoglycans are one of the determinants for both adhesion of the T. cruzi epimastigotes to the posterior midgut epithelial cells of the triatomine and the parasite infection in the insect vector, R. prolixus.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Parasitology
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, the lytic activity of two variants of Serratia marcescens against promastigotes of Leishmania braziliensis was studied. In vitro assays showed that S. marcescens variant SM365 lyses L. braziliensis promastigotes, while the variant DB11 did not. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that S. marcescens SM365 adheres to all cellular body and flagellum of the parasite. Several filamentous structures were formed and identified as biofilms. After 120min incubation, they connect the protozoan to the developing bacterial clusters. SEM also demonstrated that bacteria, adhered onto L. braziliensis promastigote surface, formed small filamentous structures which apparently penetrates into the parasite membrane. d-mannose protects L. braziliensis against the S. marcescens SM365 lytic effect in a dose dependent manner. SM365 variant pre cultivated at 37 degrees C did not synthesize prodigiosin although the adherence and lysis of L. braziliensis were similar to the effect observed with bacteria cultivated at 28 degrees C, which produce high concentrations of prodigiosin. Thus, we suggest that prodigiosin is not involved in the lysis of promastigotes and that adherence promoted by bacterial mannose-sensitive (MS) fimbriae is a determinant factor in the lysis of L. braziliensis by S. marcescens SM365.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Experimental Parasitology
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    ABSTRACT: Perimicrovillar membranes (PMM) are structures present on the surface of midgut epithelial cells of the hematophagous insect, Rhodnius prolixus. They cover the microvilli and are especially evident 10 days after blood meal, providing the compartmentalization of the enzymatic processes in the intestinal microenvironment. Using an enzyme cytochemical approach, Mg2+-ATPase and ouabain-sensitive Na+K+-ATPase activities were observed in the plasma (or microvillar) membrane (MM) of midgut cells and in the PMM. In contrast, alkaline phosphatase was only detected in MM. Using cationized ferritin and colloidal iron hydroxide particles, anionic sites were found only on the luminal surface of the PMM. Using fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled lectins, residues of alpha-d-galactose, mannose, N-acetyl-neuraminic acid, N-acetyl-d-galactosamine and N-acetyl-galactosamine-alpha-1,3-galactose were detected on the apical surface of posterior midgut epithelial cells. On the other hand, using FITC-labeled neoglycoproteins (NGP) it was possible to detect the presence of carbohydrate binding molecules (CBM) recognizing N-acetyl-d-galactosamine, alpha-d-mannose, alpha-l-fucose and alpha-d-glucose in the posterior midgut epithelium. The use of digitonin showed the presence of sterols in the MM and PMM. These results have led the authors to suggest that for some components the PMM resembles the MM lining the midgut cells of R. prolixus, composing a system which covers the microvilli and stretches to the luminal space.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2008 · Arthropod structure & development
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    ABSTRACT: Studies were carried out to identify proteins involved in the interface of Trypanosoma cruzi with the perimicrovillar membranes (PMM) of Rhodnius prolixus. Video microscopy experiments demonstrated high level of adhesion of T. cruzi Dm 28c epimastigotes to the surface of posterior midgut cells of non-treated R. prolixus. The parasites however were unable to attach to gut cells obtained from decapitated or azadirachtin-treated insects. The influence of carbohydrates on the adhesion to insect midgut was confirmed by inhibition of parasite attachment after midgut incubation with N-acetylgalactosamine, N-acetylmannosamine, N-acetylglucosamine, D-galactose, D-mannose or sialic acid. We observed that hydrophobic proteins in the surface of epimastigotes bind to polypeptides with 47.7, 45.5, 44, 43, 40.5, 36, 31 and 13kDa from R. prolixus PMM and that pre-incubation of lectins specifically inhibited binding to 31, 40.5, 44 and 45.5kDa proteins. We suggest that glycoproteins from PMM and hydrophobic proteins from epimastigotes are important for the adhesion of the parasite to the posterior midgut cells of the vector.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2007 · Experimental Parasitology
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    ABSTRACT: Antiserum raised against Rhodnius prolixus perimicrovillar membranes (PMM) and midgut tissue interfered with the midgut structural organization and reduced the development of Trypanosoma cruzi in the R. prolixus insect vector. SDS-PAGE and Western blot analyses confirmed the specific recognition of midgut proteins by the antibody. Feeding, mortality, molt, and oviposition of the insects were unaffected by feeding with the antiserum. However, the eclosion of the eggs were reduced from R. prolixus females treated with antiserum. Additionally, in vivo evaluation showed that after oral treatment with the antiserum, the intensity of infection with the Dm-28c clone of T. cruzi decreased in the digestive tract of fifth-instar nymphs and in the excretions of R. prolixus adults. These results suggest that the changes observed in the PMM organization in the posterior midgut of R. prolixus may not be important for triatomine survival but the antiserum acts as a transmission-reduction vaccine able to induce significant decreases in T. cruzi infection in the vector.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Experimental Parasitology
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    ABSTRACT: Variant vicilins (7S storage globulins) of cowpea seeds (Vigna unguiculata) are considered as the main resistance factor present in some African genotypes against the bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. It has been suggested that the toxic properties of vicilins may be related to their recognition and interaction with glycoproteins and other membrane constituents along the digestive tract of the insect. However, the possibility of a systemic effect has not yet been investigated. The objective of this work was to study the fate of 7S storage globulins of V. unguiculata in several organs of larvae of the cowpea weevil C. maculatus. Results demonstrated binding of vicilins to brush border membrane vesicles, suggesting the existence of specific receptors. Vicilins were detected in the haemolymph, in the midgut, and in internal organs, such as fat body and malpighian tubules. There is evidence of accumulation of vicilins in the fat body of both larvae and adults. The absorption of vicilins and their presence in insect tissues parallels classical sequestration of secondary compounds.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2006 · Journal of Insect Physiology
  • J M Albuquerque-Cunha · C B Mello · E S Garcia · P Azambuja · W de Souza · M S Gonzalez · N F S Nogueira
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of blood components, nerve-cord severance, and ecdysone therapy on the posterior midgut epithelial cells of 5th-instar Rhodnius prolixus nymphs 10 days after feeding were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. Cutting the nerve-cord of the blood-fed insects partially reduced the development of microvilli and perimicrovillar membranes (PMM), and produced large vacuoles and small electrondense granules; insects fed on Ringer's saline diet exhibited well developed microvilli and low PMM production; swolled rough endoplasmatic reticulum and electrondense granules; Ringer's saline meal with ecdysone led to PMM development, glycogen particles, and several mitochondria in the cytoplasm; epithelial cells of the insects fed on Ringer's saline meal whose nerve-cord was severed showed heterogeneously distributed microvilli with reduced PMM production and a great quantity of mitochondria and glycogen in the cytoplasm; well developed microvilli and PMM were observed in nerve-cord severed insects fed on Ringer's saline meal with ecdysone; Ringer's saline diet containing hemoglobin recovered the release of PMM; and insects fed on human plasma showed slightly reduced PMM production, although the addition of ecdysone in the plasma led to a normal midgut ultrastructural organization. We suggest that the full development of microvilli and PMM in the epithelial cells depends on the abdominal distension in addition to ingestion of hemoglobin, and the release of ecdysone.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2005 · Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Publication Stats

107 Citations
13.19 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
      Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2006-2008
    • Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense
      • Laboratory of Cell and Tissue Biology – LBCT
      Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil