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Aerobic to anaerobic transition in the carbohydrate metabolism of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae during transformation in vitro

  • B. E. P. Van Oordt (a1), A. G. M. Tielens (a1) and S. G. Van Den Bergh (a1)

Summary

Schistosoma mansoni cercariae in water were shown to possess a largely aerobic energy metabolism, the Krebs cycle being the main terminal of carbohydrate breakdown. A metabolic transition towards a more anaerobic breakdown of carbo-hydrate could be achieved by incubation conditions which also stimulated biological transformation. Incubation of cercariae in a simple salt medium containing 5 mM glucose induced such a metabolic transition: beside carbon dioxide large amounts of lactate and pyruvate were excreted. The results indicate that the production of pyruvate was coupled to electron transfer in the respiratory chain. Some aspects of this unusual pyruvate production are discussed. The observed change in the end-product pattern of carbohydrate breakdown is very rapid: most of the switch occurred within 2 h. Our results show that the metabolic transition was triggered by the biological transformation itself, or by the same event that induces the biological transformation. The metabolic and the biological changes proceeded synchronously.

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Keywords

Aerobic to anaerobic transition in the carbohydrate metabolism of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae during transformation in vitro

  • B. E. P. Van Oordt (a1), A. G. M. Tielens (a1) and S. G. Van Den Bergh (a1)

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