This study examines the relationship between phagosome acidification and phagosome‐lysosome fusion events using phagocytized Glugea hertwigi spores. The incidence of lysosome fusion with Glugea spores in phagosomes of mouse peritoneal macrophages and of Tetrahymena was monitored using colloidal gold and acridine orange as labels for secondary lysosomes. Over 80% of the Glugea phagosomes remained segregated from the labeled compartments in macrophages after 60 min; this inhibition of fusion was still evident after 4 h. In Tetrahymena, Glugea spores also showed a high capacity to block fusion with secondary lysosomes (67%); however, spores coated with cationized ferritin showed an 80% fusion rate with labeled acidic compartments (i.e. lysosomes) after 60 min with both Tetrahymena and macrophages. The pH of phagosome compartments was monitored by measuring the emissions of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITQ‐labeled Glugea ingested by Tetrahymena. Tetrahymena phagosomes with FITC‐Glugea did not acidify within the first hour after phagocytosis; however, phagosomes with cationized ferritin‐labeled Glugea underwent acidification during this time period. This acidification took place although the capability of the host cells' lysosomes to fuse was blocked by pretreatment with poly‐D‐glutamic acid. The cationized ferritin bound to Glugea spores was uncoupled from the spore wall prior to fusion with colloidal gold‐labeled compartments. In vitro testing showed that ferritin dissociation requires an acid pH, indicating that phagosomes acidify prior to lysosome fusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Protozoology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1985


Dive into the research topics of 'Phagocytized Intracellular Microsporidian Blocks Phagosome Acidification and Phagosome‐Lysosome Fusion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this