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Nitric oxide production by Biomphalaria glabrata haemocytes: effects of Schistosoma mansoni ESPs and regulation through the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway

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Author(s): Zahoor Zahida | Davies Angela | Kirk Ruth | Rollinson David | Walker Anthony

Journal: Parasites & Vectors
ISSN 1756-3305

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 18;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Schistosoma mansoni uses Biomphalaria glabrata as an intermediate host during its complex life cycle. In the snail, the parasite initially transforms from a miracidium into a mother sporocyst and during this process excretory-secretory products (ESPs) are released. Nitric oxide (NO) and its reactive intermediates play an important role in host defence responses against pathogens. This study therefore aimed to determine the effects of S. mansoni ESPs on NO production in defence cells (haemocytes) from schistosome-susceptible and schistosome-resistant B. glabrata strains. As S. mansoni ESPs have previously been shown to inhibit extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation (activation) in haemocytes from susceptible, but not resistant, B. glabrata the regulation of NO output by ERK in these cells was also investigated. Results Haemocytes from resistant snails challenged with S. mansoni ESPs (20 μg/ml) over 5 h displayed an increase in NO production that was 3.3 times greater than that observed for unchallenged haemocytes; lower concentrations of ESPs (0.1–10 μg/ml) did not significantly increase NO output. In contrast, haemocytes from susceptible snails showed no significant change in NO output following challenge with ESPs at any concentration used (0.1–20 μg/ml). Western blotting revealed that U0126 (1 μM or 10 μM) blocked the phosphorylation (activation) status of ERK in haemocytes from both snail strains. Inhibition of ERK signalling by U0126 attenuated considerably intracellular NO production in haemocytes from both susceptible and resistant B. glabrata strains, identifying ERK as a key regulator of NO output in these cells. Conclusion S. mansoni ESPs differentially influence intracellular NO levels in susceptible and resistant B. glabrata haemocytes, possibly through modulation of the ERK signalling pathway. Such effects might facilitate survival of S. mansoni in its intermediate host.
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