Inhibitors of trophozoite motility and phagocytosis were used to investigate the mechanism of cytopathogenicity in mouse-embryo (ME)-cell cultures. Amoebae that were immobilised and agglutinated by specific antiserum exhibited no cytopathic activity, although they remained alive and were in constant contact with the ME cells. Mammalian-cell damage occurred only when the organisms recovered pseudopodium function and began to migrate over the monolayers as they overcame the inhibitory effects of the antiserum. Cytochalasin B at a concentration of 10 μg/ml, shown to prevent the engulfment of chick erythrocytes by amoebae, also inhibited the cytopathogenicity of when incorporated in ME-cell culture medium. Despite repeated contact with active trophozoites, the ME cells showed only those morphological changes characteristically induced by cytochalasin B itself. The amoebae in turn showed signs of starvation after 3 or 4 days' incubation, suggesting that the feeding activity of trophozoites was suppressed. Colchicine, on the other hand, inhibited neither the ingestion of erythrocytes nor the destruction of ME cells by amoebae. It was concluded that the cytopathogenicity of in ME-cell cultures was due to physical rather than biochemical or cytotoxic mechanisms and was associated with the phagocytic activity of trophozoites.


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