Structure and division of the Golgi complex in Trichomonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus

Marlene Benchimol, Karla Consort Ribeiro, Rafael Meyer Mariante, John F. Alderete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We present observations on the fine structure and the division process of the Golgi complex in the protists Trichomonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus, parasites of the urogenital tract of humans and cattle, respectively. The Golgi in trichomonads is a prominent structure, associated with striated parabasal filaments to which this organelle seems to be connected. We followed by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy the Golgi in interphasic and mitotic cells. Ultrastructural studies were performed using fast-freezing fixation, immunocytochemistry using antisera to the known adhesins AP65 and AP51, cytochemistry (acid phosphatase, Ca++-ATPase, zinc iodide-osmium tetroxide technique (ZIO), for analysis of distribution of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex, and Thiéry's techniques), routine and serial thin-sections. Three-dimensional reconstruction, NBD-ceramide, fluorescent lectin (WGA) and nocodazole treatments were also used. We demonstrate that: (1) the Golgi in trichomonads is a single-copy organelle; (2) presents a fenestrated structure; (3) is formed by 8 - 12 saccules; (4) is connected to the parabasal filaments by thin filamentous bridges; (5) by cytochemistry, presents a positive reaction for the lectin WGA, Ca++-ATPase, acid phosphatase, ZIO and Thiéry's techniques; (6) does not appear to break down at any point of the cell cycle; (7) elongates during the cell cycle by lateral growth; (8) is labeled by anti-glutamylated tubulin antibodies, but it is not fragmented by nocodazole treatment; (9) before mitosis, the already elongated Golgi ribbon undergoes progressive medial fission, cisternae by cisternae, starting at the cisternae adjacent to the cell surface and ending with the cis-most cisternae; (10) the Golgikinesis originates two small Golgi ribbons; (11) the Golgi is intensely labeled with the antisera to the AP65 and AP51 adhesins in T. vaginalis, thus seeming to be a key station in the production of adhesins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-607
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean journal of cell biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001


  • Division
  • Golgi
  • Structure
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Tritrichomonas foetus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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