Pharmacological and morphological characteristics of the muscular system of the giant liver fluke (Fascioloides magna - Bassi 1875)
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Motility is required for feeding, reproduction and maintenance of the fluke in the hosts liver. According to that, the neuromuscular system can be an attractive drugable target for chemotherapy. Musculature of the Fascioloides magna is organized into three layers, an outer circular layer, beneath this layer the longitudinal layer, and third, the oblique, or diagonal layer underlies the longitudinal layer. In our study, the administration of atropine or caffeine did not cause classic muscle contractions of F. magna muscle strips. However, the Electrical Field Stimulation (EFS) induced stable and repeatable contractions, which enabled us to examine their sensitivity to the various substances. Acetylcholine (ACh) (300 mu M and 1 mM), caused only a slight relaxation, without affecting the amplitude of spontaneous contractions or the amplitude of contractions induced by EFS. Contrary to that, atropine (100 mu M) caused a significant increase in the basal tone and an increase of EFS-induced ...contractions. If acetylcholine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in trematodes, the described effects of atropine are achieved by the blockade of inhibitory neurotransmission. On the other hand, with respect to the process of excitation-contraction coupling, the plant alkaloid ryanodine (30 mu M) significantly reduced the basal tone, as well as EFS-induced contractions of E magna muscle strips. Ryanodine inhibited the potentiating effect of atropine on the basal tone and contractions caused by EFS, which indicates that the contractile effect of atropine is dependent on Ca++ release from intracellular stores. Caffeine (500 mu M) caused relaxation of fluke muscle strips and at the same time significantly enhanced the EFS-induced contractions. Both effects of caffeine can be explained by entry of extracellular Ca++ into muscle cells. The muscle contractility of F. magna depends both on the entry of extracellular calcium, and calcium release from intracellular stores, which are under the control of RyRs. Our results also suggest that antitrematodal drugs could potentially be developed from substances with selective anti-cholinergic activity.
Keywords:Fascioloides magna / Electrical Field Stimulation (EFS) / Acetylcholine / Atropine
Source:Experimental Parasitology, 2015, 159, 136-142
- Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science, San Diego