Fasciola hepatica miracidia: Lectin binding and stimulation of in vitro miracidium-to-sporocyst transformation
The lectin binding properties of Fasciola hepatica miracidia were studied by a panel of fluorescein- and gold-conjugated lectins (ConA, LCA, WGA, LEA, SBA, HPA and UEA-I). The presence of mannose and/or glucose residues was demonstrated with ConA and LCA as weak diffuse fluorescence of the miracidial surface, which was more intense at the anterior part of the larva. The N-acetylglucosamine-binding lectins WGA and LEA reacted intensely with the whole miracidial surface. No labelling with N-acetylgalactosamine and/or galactose-specific (SBA and HPA) and fucose-specific UEA-I lectins was observed. The possibility that the specific recognition of the miracidial surface carbohydrates by lectins may initiate the process of transformation of the miracidia into sporocysts was examined in vitro in physiological saline for Galba truncatula. Incubation in the presence of ConA and WGA resulted in facilitation of the transformation process. Facilitation was absent in the presence of inhibitor sugars. Incubation in the presence of SBA or UEA-I had no effect. The results suggested a possible impact of carbohydrate-lectin interactions in transformation of miracidia of F. hepatica to sporocysts in vivo.
KeywordsFasciola hepatica miracidia lectin binding lectin-carbohydrate interactions in vitro miracidium-to-sporocyst transformation
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