The ultrastructural development of the macrogamete and formation of the oocyst wall of Toxoplasma gondii.
Ferguson DJ., Hutchison WM., Siim JC.
The macrogametes of Toxoplasma gondii develop within the epithelial cells of the cat ileum. As they develop the nucleus enlarges and dense patches of chromatin which were present in the nucleoplasm, disappear. Polysaccharide granules and lipid globules appear in the cytoplasm and increase in number during development. The wall-forming bodies of Type I (WFB I) appear before the wall-forming bodies of Type II (WFB II); WFB I are smaller, more osmiophilic and more numerous than the WFB II. The WFB I appear to form from vesicles produced by the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, and the WFB II form within the lacunae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Double membraned vacuoles appear to form from the nuclear membranes but the function of these is unknown. Throughout development the macrogamete retains a normal pellicle which possesses numerous micropores. The first evidence of oocyst wall formation is the appearance of participate matter in the parasitophorous vacuole which precipitates to form Layer 1 of the oocyst wall. Layers 2 and 3 are unit membranes which form between Layer 1 and the pellicle. During this development the organism has an organelle complement similar to that of the macrogamete. Layers 4 and 5 form between Layer 3 and the pellicle. Layer 4 is osmiophilic and its formation is accompanied by the disappearance of WFB I. Layer 5 is less osmiophilic than Layer 4 and its formation is accompanied by the disappearance of WFB II. The two innermost layers (Layers 4 & 5) in the oocyst wall of Toxoplasma are similar to those found in Isospora spp. and Eimeria spp. Toxoplasma seems to be unusual in that, firstly, it possesses an additional 3 layers and, secondly, all 5 layers are formed outside the pellicle of the original macrogamete.