DE MIGUEL Natalia
Tritrichomonas foetus cell division involves DNA endoreplication and multiple fissions
IRIARTE, L; MARTINEZ, C; DE MIGUEL N; COCERES V.M
Tritrichomonas foetus and Trichomonas vaginalis are extracellular flagellated parasites that inhabit animals and humans, respectively. Cell division is a crucial process in most living organisms that leads to the formation of 2 daughter cells from a single mother cell. It has been assumed that T. vaginalis and T. foetus modes of reproduction are exclusively by binary fission. However, here, we showed that multinuclearity is a phenomenon regularly observed in different T. foetus and T. vaginalis strains in standard culture conditions. Additionally, we revealed that nutritional depletion or nutritional deprivation led to different dormant phenotypes. Although multinucleated T. foetus are mostly observed during nutritional depletion, numerous cells with 1 larger nucleus have been observed under nutritional deprivation conditions. In both cases, when the standard culture media conditions are restored, the cytoplasm of these multinucleated cells separates, and numerous parasites are generated in a short period of time by the fission multiple. We also revealed that DNA endoreplication occurs both in large and multiple nuclei of parasites under nutritional deprivation and depletion conditions, suggesting an important function in stress nutritional situations. These results provide valuable data about the cell division process of these extracellular parasites. IMPORTANCE Nowadays, it's known that T. foetus and T. vaginalis generate daughter cells by binary fission. Here, we report that both parasites are also capable of dividing by multiple fission under stress conditions. We also demonstrated, for the first time, that T. foetus can increase its DNA content per parasite without concluding the cytokinesis process (endoreplication) under stress conditions, which represents an efficient strategy for subsequent fast multiplication when the context becomes favorable. Additionally, we revealed the existence of novel dormant forms of resistance (multinucleated or mononucleated polyploid parasites), different than the previously described pseudocysts, that are formed under stress conditions. Thus, it is necessary to evaluate the role of these structures in the parasites' transmission in the future.