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Intracellular parasitism of parenchymal cells by Mycobacterium leprae.

Authors
  • Job, C K
  • McCormick, G T
  • Hastings, R C
Type
Published Article
Journal
International journal of leprosy and other mycobacterial diseases : official organ of the International Leprosy Association
Publication Date
Sep 01, 1989
Volume
57
Issue
3
Pages
659–670
Identifiers
PMID: 2674304
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The liver, skeletal muscle, and adrenal gland obtained from two nine-banded armadillos infected with Mycobacterium leprae were studied using an electron microscope. M. leprae were found in varying numbers inside hepatocytes, Kupffer's cells, striated muscle cells, adrenal cortical and adrenal medullary cells, endothelial cells, and macrophages. There was evidence to suggest that M. leprae were actively phagocytosed by the liver and skeletal muscle cells. The inert nature of M. leprae and its behavior as an almost ideal parasite of parenchymal cells are emphasized. The question of whether this unique parasitism of parenchymal cells and the possible processing and presentation of M. leprae antigens by these cells could be responsible for aberrant immune responses is raised.

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