The pharyngeal component of the enteric nervous system of the parasitic nematode, Ascaris suum exhibits immunoreactivity for serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) and for FMRFamide-like peptides. This paper describes the application of an in vitro pharmacological approach to investigate the functional role of 5-HT and FMRFamide-like peptides. The pharyngeal pumping behaviour of Ascaris suum was monitored using a modified pressure transducer system which measures pharyngeal pressure changes and therefore pumping. The pharynx did not contract spontaneously; however, 5-HT (10-1000 mu M) stimulated pumping at a frequency of 0 . 5 Hz. FMRFamide had no apparent effect on pharyngeal pumping. The native nematode FMRFamide-related peptide (FaRP), KSAYMRFamide inhibited the pumping elicited by 5-HT. The duration of inhibition was dose-dependent (0 . 1-1000 nM) with a threshold of 0 . 1 nM. In 4 preparations, the inhibition of the pharyngeal muscle was preceded by an initial excitation and increase in the amplitude of pharyngeal pressure changes. The pharynx is involved in various nematode processes, including feeding, regulation of hydrostatic pressure and excretion. The role of 5-HT and KSAYMRFamide in the pharyngeal function of nematodes is discussed.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|