, Volume 103, Issue 4, pp 847-852
Date: 15 Jul 2008

The key steroidogenic enzyme 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in Taenia solium and Taenia crassiceps (WFU)

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Abstract

Larval and adult stages of Taenia solium and Taenia crassiceps WFU strain were analyzed by histochemical and biochemical methods to determine the existence of steroid pathways. The presence of the key enzyme 3β-hydroxisteroid-dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) was examined in frozen sections of cysticerci obtained from mice and segments of tapeworms obtained from the intestine of hamsters. 3β-HSD activity was detected by nitroblue-tetrazolium products after incubation with dehydroepiandrosterone, androstendiol, or pregnenolone. Tapeworm tissues exhibited 3β-HSD activity in the subtegumentary areas of the neck and immature proglottids following incubation with androstendiol, as well as surrounding the testes in mature proglottids. T. solium cysticerci exhibited 3β-HSD activity in the subtegumentary tissues. The synthesis of steroid hormones involving the activity of 3β-HSD was studied in cysticerci or tapeworms incubated in the presence of tritiated steroid precursors. The culture media were analyzed by thin layer chromatography and showed synthesis of androstendiol, testosterone, and 17β-estradiol by cysticerci, androstendiol, and 17β-estradiol by tapeworms. The results strongly suggest the activity of 3β-HSD in taeniid parasites that have at least a part of the enzymatic chain required for androgen and estrogen synthesis and that the enzymes are present in the larval stage and from the early strobilar stages to the mature proglottids.