Our understanding of the biology of malaria parasite liver stages is limited because of the lack of efficient in vitro systems that support the exo-erythrocytic (EE) development of the parasite. We report the development of a new hepatocyte line (HC-04) from normal human liver cells. The HC-04 cells have proliferated in hormone-free medium for more than 200 passages. The cells were hyperdiploid, resembled liver parenchymal cells, and synthesized major liverspecific proteins and enzymes. Using Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax sporozoites harvested from salivary glands of infected mosquitoes, we showed that HC-04 cells supported the complete EE development of these two most prevalent human malaria parasites. The EE parasites attained full maturation as shown by their infectivity to human erythrocytes. The infection rates of the liver cells were estimated to be 0.066% and 0.041%for P. falciparum and P. vivax, respectively. As the first human hepatocyte line known to support complete EE development of both P. falciparum and P. vivax, HC-04 will provide an experimental model that can be used for studying the biology of liver stage malaria parasites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases