Failure of in vitro-cultured schistosomes to produce eggs : how does the parasite meet its needs for host-derived cytokines such as TGF-β?

Doenhoff, Michael J., Modha, Jay and Walker, Anthony J. (2019) Failure of in vitro-cultured schistosomes to produce eggs : how does the parasite meet its needs for host-derived cytokines such as TGF-β? International Journal for Parasitology, 49(10), pp. 747-757. ISSN (print) 0020-7519

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Abstract

When adult schistosome worm pairs are transferred from experimental hosts to in vitro culture they cease producing viable eggs within a few days. Female worms in unisexual infections fail to mature, and when mature adult females are separated from male partners they regress sexually. Worms cultured from the larval stage are also permanently reproductively defective. The cytokine transforming growth factor beta derived from the mammalian host is considered important in stimulating schistosome female worm maturation and maintenance of fecundity. The means by which schistosomes acquire TGF-β have not been elucidated, but direct uptake in vivo seems unlikely as the concentration of free, biologically active cytokine in host blood is very low. Here we review the complexities of schistosome development and male–female interactions, and we speculate about two possibilities on how worms obtain the TGF-β they are assumed to need: (i) worms may have mechanisms to free active cytokine from the latency-inducing complex of proteins in which it is associated, and/or (ii) they may obtain the cytokine from alpha 2-macroglobulin, a blood-borne protease inhibitor to which TGF-β can bind. These ideas are experimentally testable.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Biological sciences
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing > School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry
Depositing User: Anna Englund
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 07:38
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2020 09:21
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2019.05.004
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/43743

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