Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15977899
Parasitology 2005 Jun;130(Pt 6):629-35
Lymphocytes infected with the protozoan parasite Theileria parva are transformed to permanently proliferating cells, an event underlying the pathology of the disease. However, the molecular signalling mediating this process is complex and poorly understood. Here, we show that down-regulation of JNK signalling by transient over expression of a dominant-negative mutant of JNK (JNK-APF) significantly increases Annexin-V-phycoerythrin (V-PE) labelling on infected B cell populations observed using flow cytometry. To establish whether this increase was specifically due to apoptosis, we used a novel single-cell imaging method: micro-rotation (MR)-imaging, designed to allow high-resolution 3-dimensional imaging of single cells in suspension. With this method we visualized subcellular patterns of V-PE uptake and chromatin organization in lymphocytes co-transfected with JNK-APF and GFP-tagged histone-H2B. This single-cell approach allowed us to clearly reveal characteristic apoptotic phenotypes, whose patterns reflected progressive states of programmed cell death due to JNK down-regulation. Our results strongly suggest a role for JNK in the survival of Theileria-infected B cells, and demonstrate the powerful utility of a new and unique 3-dimensional imaging method for living cells in suspension.