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Schistosoma Parasites Evoke Stress Responses in Their Snail Host By a Cytokine-Like Factor Interfering With Neuro-Endocrine Mechanisms

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For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Results obtained with the model Trichobilharzia ocellata-Lymnaea stagnalis confirm the hypothesis that schistosome parasites evoke physiological effects in their snail host-castration and giant growth-by interfering with neuroendocrine systems (NES) regulating the physiological processes concerned. In the haemolymph of the snail host a factor, called schistosomin, was found acting at both the central and the peripheral parts of NES involved in regulation of reproduction and growth. Schistosomin appears to be a host-derived factor, probably released by haemocytes and by cells in the connective tissue. It meets the criteria of being a cytokine-like factor, which accounts for its interference with NES. Furthermore, the physiological effects caused by schistosomes in the snail host resemble aspecific stress responses in mammals, e.g. upon a bacterial challenge.

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Neurosciences Amsterdam, Research Institute Neurosciences Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Biology, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

10.1163/156854295X00708
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1994-01-01
2016-12-09

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