Modification of the Woodruff-Stamper assay demonstrates binding of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites to retinal vascular endothelium

T. J. Chipps, P. R. Streeter, D. T. Franc, K. Neumeyer, S. R. Planck, J. T. Rosenbaum, J. R. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the human host, infection with the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, most commonly involves the eye and/or the brain. Previous work indicates a relative susceptibility of the human retinal vascular endothelium to infection with the T. gondii tachyzoite, which may contribute to this tissue localization. To facilitate the investigation of potential adhesive interactions between parasite and endothelium in the retina, we have modified the Woodruff-Stamper assay, originally described to study lymphocytic-endothelial binding. Vascular endothelium was identified in sections of human retina by Alexa Fluor 594-tagged anti-von Willebrand factor antibody. Binding of yellow fluorescent protein-expressing tachyzoites to endothelium under conditions of flow, simulated by rotation on an orbital shaker, was quantified in a masked fashion using imaging software. We observed multiple yellow spots in contact with Alexa Fluor 594-positive retina, indicating binding of T. gondii tachyzoites to retinal vascular endothelium. This modification of the Woodruff-Stamper assay provides an opportunity to evaluate potential host receptors for T. gondii on the retinal vascular endothelium. In addition, the assay suggests a methodology that could be used to examine adhesion of other microbes to microvasculature in different tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 30 2006


  • Binding
  • Retina
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Vascular endothelium
  • Woodruff-Stamper assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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