Modulation of the motility of the vagina vera of Ascaris suum in vitro by FMRFamide-related peptides

R.A. Fellowes, Aaron Maule, Nicola Marks, T.G. Geary, D.P. Thompson, Christopher Shaw, D W Halton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Ascaris suum contains a large number of FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs) of which KNEFIRFamide (AF1), KHEYLRFamide (AF2) and KSAYMRFamide (AF8, also called PF3) have been extensively studied and are known to exert actions on somatic muscle strips of the worm. In the present study, the effects of AF1, AF2 and AF8 on the activity of the vagina vera of female A. suum have been examined in vitro. The vagina vera is a muscular tube connecting the uterus and vagina uteri to the gonopore and is probably involved in regulating egg output. The tissue exhibited spontaneous, rhythmic contractions in vitro, which were modulated by each of the FaRPs tested. The effects of each of the peptides were qualitatively and quantitatively different, and in each case were reversible. AF1 (1 mu M) caused a biphasic response in the form of a transient lengthening of the preparation, followed by a shortening; contractions were initially inhibited but resumed 5 min post-addition of the peptide. Lower concentrations (less than or equal to 0.1 mu M) induced a less marked effect, with rhythmic contractions returning 5 min post-addition. AF2 and AF8 reduced contraction frequency at concentrations greater than or equal to 0.1 mu M. Both peptides also caused the tissue to shorten, although the effects of AF8 on baseline tension were inconsistent. The apparent potencies of AF1 and AF8 on contraction frequency of the vagina vera were 10-fold greater than AF2 and, unlike their actions on A. suum somatic body wall muscles, the actions of AF1 and AF2 were qualitatively different. Indeed, the effects of each of these FaRPs on the vagina vera were markedly different from those observed on the somatic muscle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Parasitology


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