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A confocal scanning laser microscope study of the peptidergic and serotoninergic components of the nervous system in larval Schistosoma mansoni

  • P. J. Skuce, C. F. Johnston (a1), I. Fairweather (a2), D. W. Halton (a2) and C. Shaw (a1)...

Extract

The localization and distribution of the serotoninergic and peptidergic elements of the nervous system of larval Schistosoma mansoni have been investigated using an indirect immunofluorescence technique in conjunction with confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM). A range of antisera was used, raised to the biogenic amine, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, or serotonin), the vertebrate peptides pancreatic polypeptide (PP), peptide YY (PYY) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) and to the native invertebrate peptide, FMRFamide; all these antisera were shown previously to be immunopositive in the adult worm. No immunoreactivity to 5-HT was detected in any of the larval stages, but both miracidia and cercariae were consistently immunoreactive to all 4 peptides. The peptidergic nervous system of the miracidium is relatively simple, taking the form of a central neural mass with associated paired anterior and posterior nerve tracts. The cercarial peptidergic nervous system comprises a central commissure joining paired anterior ganglia, from which emanate paired dorsal and ventral nerve tracts, which terminate at the body/tail junction. The excretory bladder region of the tail is also immunoreactive for the 4 peptides, and a fine pair of nerve tracts extends the length of the tail shaft. Immunoreactive nerve cell bodies are also evident in the midbody region of the intrasprocystic cercariae, these same structures being immunoreactive for the neuronal marker, neurone-specific enolase (NSE). The organization of the larval peptidergic nervous system is compared to that of the cholinergic nervous system and contrasted with the peptidergic system in the adult worm. The absence of immunoreactivity to 5-HT is discussed in relation to the proposed development of the aminergic nervous system upon establishment in the definitive host.

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Keywords

A confocal scanning laser microscope study of the peptidergic and serotoninergic components of the nervous system in larval Schistosoma mansoni

  • P. J. Skuce, C. F. Johnston (a1), I. Fairweather (a2), D. W. Halton (a2) and C. Shaw (a1)...

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