Inclusion Bodies

The cell is the smallest, basic and fundamental unit of all living organism. Every living organism is composed of one or more cells, and therefore it is referred to as the building blocks of life. There are different types of cells- blood cells, nerve cell, Muscle cells and are involved with their specific functions. The main functions of these cells are they provide shape and carry out specialized functions.

There are many cell organelles, which are membrane-bounded and perform a specialized function to keep the cell live and active. There are few cell inclusions which are basically reserve materials in prokaryotic cell and are present within the cytoplasm of the cell.

Let’s learn more about the Inclusion bodies along with the general features and their classifications.

Also Read: Cells

What are Inclusion bodies?

The inclusion bodies are tiny particles found freely suspended and floating within the cytoplasmic matrix, therefore, they are also referred to as cytoplasmic inclusions. These cell inclusions are formed with decreasing pH and from the pool of soluble fusion proteins within the cell. They are the elementary bodies, formed during infectious diseases or within the virus-infected cells such as rabies, herpes, measles, etc.

Inclusion Bodies

Inclusion bodies are abnormal structures with distinct size and shape and are usually observed in nerve, epithelial, or endothelial cells. They have a characteristic staining property and are typically composed of proteins.

Inclusion bodies are non-living chemical compounds and by-products of cellular metabolism, present in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. There are a wide variety of inclusion bodies in different types of cells. In prokaryotic cells, they are mainly formed to store reserve materials. In animal cells, they store fats and sugars that are ready for cellular respiration and in plant cells, they store granules of materials like glycogen, starch, etc.

Gas vacuoles, cyanophycean granules, phosphate granules, glycogen granules are a few examples of inclusion particles.

General Features of Inclusion bodies

  • They are generally acidophilic.

  • Maybe crystalline aggregates of virions.

  • Represent degenerative changes produced by a viral infection.

  • Are made of virus antigens present at the site of virus synthesis.

  • Seen as pink structures when stained with gypsum or methylene blue dye.

Classification of Inclusion Bodies

Inclusion bodies can be classified into different types based on their location, either at the nucleus or cytoplasm or at both the cell organelles. The different types of inclusion bodies are as follows:

  • Intranuclear inclusions.

  • Infection inclusion bodies.

  • Intracytoplasmic inclusions.

  • physiological inclusion of bodies.

  • Inclusion bodies in:

    • cystic lesions.

    • blood dyscrasias.

    • fungal infections.

    • virus-infected cells.

    • bacterial infections.

    • autoimmune diseases.

    • neoplasms.

Viral Inclusion Bodies

Following are some of the examples of viral inclusion bodies:

Intracytoplasmic eosinophilic

  • Negri bodies in rabies

  • Paschen bodies in variola

  • Bollinger bodies in fowlpox

  • Handerson-Patterson bodies in Molluscum Contagiosum

  • Eosinophilic inclusion bodies in boid inclusion body disease

Intranuclear eosinophilic

  • Torres bodies in yellow fever

  • Cowdry type A in Herpes simplex virus

  • Cowdry type B in Polio and adenovirus

Intranuclear basophilic

  • Cowdry type B in adenovirus

  • Owl’s eye appearance in cytomegalovirus

Also Read: Nucleus

This was the brief introduction to Inclusion bodies. Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about the Cell, its organelles, and other related topics @ BYJU’S Biology

Important Questions

Q.1. What are the inclusion bodies?

A.1. Inclusion bodies are tiny particles freely suspended in the cytoplasmic matrix. They are also referred to as cytoplasmic inclusions.

Q.2. What is the function of inclusion bodies?

A.2. The inclusion bodies serve as storage vessels. Glycogen is stored as a reserve of carbohydrates and energy.

Q.3. Can ribosomes be considered as inclusion bodies?

A.3. Ribosomes are macromolecules made up of RNA and proteins. They are granular, non-membranous structures that play a role in protein formation in the cells. Hence, they can be considered as an intermediate between inclusion bodies and cell organelles.

Q.4. How are the inclusion bodies formed?

A.4. These are formed with increasing pH and pool of soluble fusion proteins within the cell. They are formed during infectious diseases or within the virus-infected cells such as rabies, herpes, etc.

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