During the blood stage of malaria pathogenesis, parasites invade healthy red blood cells (RBC) to multiply inside the host and evade the immune response. When attached to RBC, the parasite first has to align its apex with the membrane for a successful invasion. Since the parasite's apex sits at the pointed end of an oval (egg-like) shape with a large local curvature, apical alignment is in general an energetically un-favorable process. Previously, using coarse-grained mesoscopic simulations, we have shown that optimal alignment time is achieved due to RBC membrane deformation and the stochastic nature of bond-based interactions between the parasite and RBC membrane (Hillringhaus et al., 2020). Here, we demonstrate that the parasite's shape has a prominent effect on the alignment process. The alignment times of spherical parasites for intermediate and large bond off-rates (or weak membrane-parasite interactions) are found to be close to those of an egg-like shape. However, for small bond off-rates (or strong adhesion and large membrane deformations), the alignment time for a spherical shape increases drastically. Parasite shapes with large aspect ratios such as oblate and long prolate ellipsoids are found to exhibit very long alignment times in comparison to the egg-like shape. At a stiffened RBC, spherical parasite aligns faster than any other investigated shapes. This study shows that the original egg-like shape performs not worse for parasite alignment than other considered shapes, but is more robust with respect to different adhesion interactions and RBC membrane rigidities.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data for all figures are provided.
- Sebastian Hillringhaus
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Raymond E Goldstein, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
© 2021, Dasanna et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Little is known about how muscle length affects residual force enhancement (rFE) in humans. We therefore investigated rFE at short, long, and very long muscle lengths within the human quadriceps and patellar tendon (PT) using conventional dynamometry with motion capture (rFETQ) and a new, non-invasive shear-wave tensiometry technique (rFEWS). Eleven healthy male participants performed submaximal (50% max.) EMG-matched fixed-end reference and stretch-hold contractions across these muscle lengths while muscle fascicle length changes of the vastus lateralis (VL) were captured using B-mode ultrasound. We found significant rFETQ at long (7±5%) and very long (12±8%), but not short (2±5%) muscle lengths, whereas rFEWS was only significant at the very long (38±27%), but not short (8±12%) or long (6±10%) muscle lengths. We also found significant relationships between VL fascicle length and rFETQ (r=0.63, p=0.001) and rFEWS (r=0.52, p=0.017), but relationships were not significant between VL fascicle stretch amplitude and rFETQ (r=0.33, p=0.126) or rFEWS (r=0.29, p=0.201). Squared PT shear-wave-speed-angle relationships did not agree with estimated PT force-angle relationships, which indicates that estimating PT loads from shear-wave tensiometry might be inaccurate. We conclude that increasing muscle length rather than stretch amplitude contributes more to rFE during submaximal voluntary contractions of the human quadriceps.
Internephron interaction is fundamental for kidney function. Earlier studies have shown that nephrons signal to each other, synchronize over short distances, and potentially form large synchronized clusters. Such clusters would play an important role in renal autoregulation, but due to the technological limitations, their presence is yet to be confirmed. In the present study, we introduce an approach for high-resolution laser speckle imaging of renal blood flow and apply it to estimate the frequency and phase differences in rat kidney microcirculation under different conditions. The analysis unveiled the spatial and temporal evolution of synchronized blood flow clusters of various sizes, including the formation of large (>90 vessels) and long-lived clusters (>10 periods) locked at the frequency of the tubular glomerular feedback mechanism. Administration of vasoactive agents caused significant changes in the synchronization patterns and, thus, in nephrons’ co-operative dynamics. Specifically, infusion of vasoconstrictor angiotensin II promoted stronger synchronization, while acetylcholine caused complete desynchronization. The results confirm the presence of the local synchronization in the renal microcirculatory blood flow and that it changes depending on the condition of the vascular network and the blood pressure, which will have further implications for the role of such synchronization in pathologies development.