Bacteria arise at the border of mycoplasma-infected HeLa cells, containing cytoplasm with either malformed cytosol, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum or tightly adjoined smooth vacuoles

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Abstract

A study with transmission electron microscopy of mycoplasma-contaminated HeLa cells using five cell donors referred to as donors A, B, C, D and E, observations are herein presented. Experiments performed with cells from donors B, C and D, revealed the presence of Mycoplasma hyorhinis after PCR and sequencing experiments. Bacteria probably originated from a cytoplasm with compacted tiny granular particles replacing the normal cytosol territories, or from the contact with the cytoplasm through a clear semi-solid material. The compact granularity (CG) of the cytoplasm was crossed by stripes of smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum cisternae. Among apparently normal mitochondria, it was noted, in variable proportions, mitochondria with crista-delimited lucent central regions that expand to and occupied the interior of a crista-less organelle, which can undergo fission. Other components of the scenarios of mycoplasma-induced cell demolition are villus-like structures with associated 80-200 nm vesicles and a clear, flexible semi-solid, process-sensitive substance that we named jam-like material. This material coated the cytoplasmic surface, its recesses, irregular protrusions and detached cytoplasmic fragments. It also cushioned forming bacteria. Cyst-like structures were often present in the cytoplasm. Cells, mainly apoptotic, exhibiting ample cytoplasmic sectors with characteristic net-like profile due to adjoined vacuoles, as well as ovoid or elongated profiles, consistently appeared in all cells from the last four cell donors. These cells were named “modified host cells” because bacteria arose in the vacuoles. The possibility that, in some samples, there was infection and/or coinfection of the host cell by another organism(s) cannot be ruled out.

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Sesso, A., Yamashiro-Kanashiro, E. H., Arruda, L. B., Kawakami, J., Higuchi, M. de L., Orii, N. M., … Taga, R. (2017). Bacteria arise at the border of mycoplasma-infected HeLa cells, containing cytoplasm with either malformed cytosol, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum or tightly adjoined smooth vacuoles. Revista Do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo, 59. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1678-9946201759084

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