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Possible roles of cAMP and Ca2+ in the regulation of miracidial transformation inSchistosoma mansoni

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The triggering action of physiological saline in the miracidial transformation ofSchistosoma mansoni was analyzed using various agents affecting cAMP-and Ca2+-dependent pathways. Potent activators of adenylate cyclase such as forskolin and serotonin, strongly inhibited the transformation provoked by saline in RPMI-1640. These inhibitory actions were diminished by the combined administration of phosphodiesterase activators such as ammonium salts or imidazole. Furthermore the exposure of miracidia to ammonium salts or imidazole in dechlorinated tap water “mimicked” the transformation, i.e., the cessation, of swimming and then shedding of epithelial plates. This mimic transformation was also inhibited by serotonin or forskolin. In contrast, treatment of miracidia with Ca2+ antagonists such as TMB-8 (an inhibitor of Ca2+ release), nicardipine (a Ca2+ channel blocker), or W-7 (a calmodulin inhibitor) in tap water produced severe vesiculation on their body surfaces and resulted in death. However, these toxic effects were abolished by a combined administration of these Ca2+ antagonists with saline or NH4Cl, and the transformation was reestablished except with W-7 treatment. W-7 strongly inhibited the triggering action of saline and NH4Cl and the worms swam slowly, whereas W-5, an inactive analogue of W-7, had no inhibitory effect on the transformation. These results suggest that the initiation of micracidial transformation to young sporocysts may be synergistically, regulated by cAMP and Ca2+ and that a decrease in cAMP levels and an increase in Ca2+ mobilization may be provoked in worms transformed by saline, ammonium salts, or imidazole.

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8-(N,N-diethyl amino)-octyl-3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoate




N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalene sulfonamide


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Correspondence to Fumihiko Kawamoto.

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Kawamoto, F., Shozawa, A., Kumada, N. et al. Possible roles of cAMP and Ca2+ in the regulation of miracidial transformation inSchistosoma mansoni . Parasitol Res 75, 368–374 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00931132

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  • Serotonin
  • Imidazole
  • Channel Blocker
  • NH4Cl
  • Physiological Saline