Immunochemical techniques were used to determine the distribution, chemical characteristics and relative abundance of immunoreactivity (IR) to two native platyhelminth neuropeptides, neuropeptide F (NPF) (Moniezia expansa) and the FMRFamide-related peptide (FaRP), GNFFRFamide, in the trematodes, Fasciola hepatica and Schistosoma mansoni; the larger S. margrebowiei was used in the chemical analysis. Extensive immunostaining for the two peptides was demonstrated throughout the nervous systems of both F. hepatica and S. mansoni, with strong IR also in the innervation of muscular structures, including those associated with the egg-forming apparatus. The patterns of immunostaining were similar to those previously described for the vertebrate neuropeptide Y superfamily of peptides and for FMRFamide. Ultrastructurally, gold labelling of NPF- and GNFFRFamide-IRs was localized exclusively to the contents of secretory vesicles in the axons and somatic cytoplasm of neurones. Double-labelling experiments showed an apparent homogeneity of antigenic sites, in all probability due to the demonstrated cross-reactivity of the FaRP antiserum with NPF. Radioimmunoassay of acid-ethanol extracts of the worms detected 8.3 pmol/g and 4.7 pmol/g equivalents of NPF- and FMRFamide-IRs, respectively, for F. hepatica, and corresponding values of 4.9 pmol/g and 4.3 pmol/g equivalents for S. margrebowiei. Gel-permeation chromatography resolved IR to both peptides in discrete peaks and these eluted in similar positions to synthetic NPF (M. expansa) and GNFFRFamide, respectively.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|