Transcriptional profiling of the oesophageal gland region of male worms of Schistosoma mansoni

Sujeevi S K Nawaratna, Geoffrey N Gobert, Charlene Willis, Candy Chuah, Donald P McManus, Malcolm K Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The intestinal tract of schistosomes opens at the mouth and leads into the foregut or oesophageal region that is lined with syncytium continuous with the apical cytoplasm of the tegument. The oesophagus is surrounded by a specialised gland, the oesophageal gland. This gland releases materials into the lumen of the oesophagus and the region is thought to initiate the lysis of erythrocytes and neutralisation of immune effectors of the host. The oesophageal region is present in the early invasive schistosomulum, a stage potentially targetable by anti-schistosome vaccines. We used a 44k oligonucleotide microarray to identify highly up-regulated genes in microdissected frozen sections of the oesophageal gland of male worms of S. mansoni. We show that 122 genes were up-regulated 2-fold or higher in the oesophageal gland compared with a whole male worm tissue control. The enriched genes included several associated with lipid metabolism and transmembrane transport as well as some micro-exon genes. Since the oesophageal gland is important in the initiation of digestion and the fact that it develops early after invasion of the mammalian host, further study of selected highly up-regulated functionally important genes in this tissue may reveal new anti-schistosome intervention targets for schistosomiasis control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number2
Early online date19 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni

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