Korean J Parasitol.  1989 Jun;27(2):87-100. 10.3347/kjp.1989.27.2.87.

Development of Eimeria tenella in MDBK cell culture with a note on enhancing effect of preincubation with chicken spleen cells

  • 1Department of Parasitology and Institute of Endemic Diseases, College of Medicine,Seoul National University, Seoul 110-460, Korea.


Eimeria tenella, an intracellular protozoan parasite infecting the epithelial cells of the ceca of chickens, causes severe diarrhea and bleeding that can lead its host to death. It is of interest that E. tenella first penetrate into the mucosal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) before they parasitize crypt or villous epithelial cells. This in vitro study was undertaken to know whether the penetration of E. tenella into such a lymphoid cell is a beneficial step for the parasite survival and development. Three sequential experiments were performed. First, the in vitro established bovine kidney cell line, MDBK cells, were evaluated for use as host cells for E. tenella, through morphological observation. Second, the degree of parasite development and multiplication in MDBK cells was quantitatively assayed using radioisotope-labelled uracil (3H-uracil). Third, the E. tenella sporozoites viability was assayed after preincubation of them with chicken spleen cells. E. tenella oocysts obtained from the ceca of the infected chickens were used for the source of the sporozoites. Spleen cells (E) obtained from normal chickens (FP strain) were preincubated with the sporozoites (T) at the E:T ratio of 100:1, 50:1 or 25:1 for 4 or 12 hours, and then the mixture was inoculated into the MDBK cell monolayer. Morphologically the infected MDBK cells revealed active schizogonic cycle of E. tenella in 3-4 days, which was characterized by the appearance of trophozoites, and immature and mature schizonts containing merozoites. The 3H-uracil uptake by E. tenella increased gradually in the MDBK cells, which made a plateau after 48-60 hours, and decreased thereafter. The uptake amount of 3H-uracil depended not only upon the inoculum size of the sporozoites but also on the degree of time delay (preincubation; sporozoites only) from excystation to inoculation into MDBK cells. The 3H-uracil uptake became lower as the preincubation time was prolonged. In comparison, after preincubation of sporozoites with spleen cells for 4 or 12 hours, the 3H-uracil uptake was significantly increased compared with that of control group. From the results, it was inferred that, although the penetration of E. tenella sporozoites into the lymphoid cells such as IEL is not an essential step, it should be at least a beneficial one for the survival and development of sporozoites in the chicken intestine.

MeSH Terms

Full Text Links
  • KJP
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr