SEROTONINERGIC AND PEPTIDERGIC NERVE ELEMENTS IN THE PROTOSCOLEX OF ECHINOCOCCUS-GRANULOSUS (CESTODA, CYCLOPHYLLIDEA)

Ian Fairweather, M.T. Mcmullan, C.F. Johnston, M.T. Rogan, R.E.B. Hanna

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Abstract

The localisation and distribution of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, or serotonin) and neuropeptides in the nervous system of the protoscolex of the hydatid organism Echinococcus granulosus were determined by an indirect immunofluorescence technique. Nerve-cell bodies immunoreactive for 5-HT occurred in the lateral ganglia and in association with the lateral longitudinal nerve cords. 5-HT immunostaining was also evident in the central nerve ring, in the rostellar nerves and in the nerve plexus innervating the suckers. Of the antisera used to screen the protoscolex for neuropeptide immunoreactivity (IR), immunostaining was obtained with those raised against pancreatic polypeptide (PP), peptide YY (PYY), substance P (SP), peptide histidine isoleucine (PI-II) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). The most extensive pattern of IR occurred with antisera to PP and PYY. Immunoreactive nerve elements were evident in the lateral ganglia, central nerve ring, rostellar nerves, rostellar ganglia, sucker plexus and longitudinal nerve cords. The distribution of SP-, PHI- and VIP-IRs was more restricted: SP-IR occurred in the lateral ganglia and sucker nerves, whilst PHI- and VIP-immunoreactive nerve elements were associated with the lateral longitudinal nerve cords. Protoscoleces cultured in vitro for 29 days were also examined and neuroanatomical changes noted. A greater development of the longitudinal nerve cords and their cross-connectives in the body of the worm was evident, and a group of nerve cells were seen to develop at the posterior end of the main lateral nerve cords.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-656
Number of pages8
JournalParasitology Research
Volume80
Publication statusPublished - 1994

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