Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24686750
PLoS ONE 2014;9(3):e90692
The factors implicated in the transition from uncomplicated to severe clinical malaria such as pulmonary oedema and cerebral malaria remain unclear. It is known that alterations in vascular integrity due to endothelial cell (EC) activation and death occur during severe malaria. In this study, we assessed the ability of different P. falciparum clinical isolates to induce apoptosis in ECs derived from human lung and brain. We observed that induction of EC apoptosis was sensitive to the environmental pH and required direct contact between the parasite and the cell, though it was not correlated to the ability of the parasite to cytoadhere. Moreover, the extent of induced apoptosis in the two EC types varied with the isolate. Analysis of parasite genes transcript led us to propose that the activation of different pathways, such as Plasmodium apoptosis-linked pathogenicity factors (PALPF), PALPF-2, PALPF-5 and PF11_0521, could be implied in EC death. These observations provide an experimental framework to decipher the molecular mechanism implicated in the genesis of severe malaria.