Polyamine Oxidase in Human Retroplacental Serum Inhibits the Growth of Plasmodium falciparum

James E. Egan
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J. David Haynes
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Nesbitt D. Brown Department of Immunology

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Christine S. Eisemann
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Human retroplacental serum (RPS) containing polyamine oxidase inhibited the growth of the Camp strain of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro as assayed by the parasite's decreased incorporation of 3H-hypoxanthine. Inhibition was dose-dependent on the concentrations of serum polyamine oxidase and added polyamines. Almost complete inhibition was seen in 96-hr asynchronous cultures containing 10% RPS and in those containing 1.2% RPS plus 50 µM polyamine. Subtle morphologic changes in mature stages and decreased numbers of new rings were associated with inhibition seen in 19-hr synchronous cultures initiated at the trophozoite stage. These incubation times were longer than in previous reports showing inhibition of malaria parasites by bovine polyamine oxidase but not by human polyamine oxidase. Macrophages contain polyamine oxidase, the reaction products of which are known to be similar to those of RPS polyamine oxidase but different from those of bovine polyamine oxidase. It remains to be determined whether human polyamine oxidase, acting upon ubiquitous polyamines, contributes to host defenses against malaria.

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