Pharmacological characterisation of neuropeptide F (NPF)-induced effects on the motility of Mesocestoides corti (syn. Mesocestoides vogae) larvae

G. Hrckova, S. Velebny, David Halton, T.A. Day, Aaron Maule

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Neuropeptide F is the most abundant neuropeptide in parasitic flatworms and is analogous to vertebrate neuropeptide Y. This paper examines the effects of neuropeptide F on tetrathyridia of the cestode Mesocestoides vogae and provides preliminary data on the signalling mechanisms employed. Neuropeptide F ( greater than or equal to 10 muM) had profound excitatory effects on larval motility in vitro. The effects were insensitive to high concentrations (I mM) of the anaesthetic procame hydrochloride suggesting extraneuronal sites of action. Neuropeptide F activity was not significantly blocked by a FMRFamide-related peptide analog (GNFFRdFamide) that was found to inhibit GNFFRFamide-induced excitation indicating the occurrence of distinct neuropeptide F and FMRFamide-related peptide receptors. Larval treatment with guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) trilithium salt prior to the addition of neuropeptide F completely abolished the excitatory effects indicating the involvement of G-proteins and a G-protein coupled receptor in neuropeptide F activity. Addition of guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) following neuropeptide F had limited inhibitory effects consistent with the activation of a signalling cascade by the neuropeptide. With respect to Ca2+ involvement in neuropeptide F-induced excitation of M. vogae larvae, the L-type Ca2+-channel blockers verapamil and nifedipine both abolished neuropeptide F activity as did high Mg+ concentrations and drugs which blocked sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-activated Ca2+-channels (ryanodine) and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pumps (cyclopiazonic acid). Therefore, both extracellular and intracellular Ca2+ is important for neuropeptide F excitation in M. vogae. With resepct to second messengers, the protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine chloride and the adenylate cyclase inhibitor MDL-2330A both abolished neuropeptide F-induced excitation. The involvement of a signalling pathway that involves protein kinase C was further supported by the fact that phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate,known to directly activate protein kinase C, had direct excitatory effects on larval motility. Although neuropeptide F is structurally analogous to neuropeptide Y, its mode-of-action in flatworms appears quite distinct from the common signalling mechanism seen in vertebrates. (C) 2003 on behalf of Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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