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J Parasitol. 1987 Jun;73(3):523-9.

Comparative toxicity of purified human eosinophil granule proteins for newborn larvae of Trichinella spiralis.


Eosinophils have been implicated in both in vivo and in vitro destruction of helminths. One approach toward elucidating the role of the eosinophil in parasite killing has been to test the toxicity of purified eosinophil granule proteins for parasites in vitro. Previously, major basic protein (MBP) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) were shown to be toxic for schistosomules of Schistosoma mansoni, while eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) was only marginally so. We tested the toxicity of MBP, ECP, and EDN over a range of concentrations (0.006-5 X 10(-4) M) for newborn larvae of Trichinella spiralis. Our observations confirm previous reports of toxicity of mildly reduced and alkylated (R & A) MBP. At concentrations of 5 X 10(-5) M and above, R & A MBP killed 75% or more of the larvae within the first hour of culture. ECP was an effective toxin for these larvae after 3 hr of culture, and by 12 hr, dose-related toxicity was evident. After 24 hr, 100% of the larvae were killed at 5 X 10(-5) M ECP. EDN was much less toxic; after 12 hr, 90% of the larvae survived at concentrations of 1 X 10(4) M, while 5 X 10(-4) M EDN killed all the larvae. At the optimal toxic concentrations of 5 X 10(-5) M ECP and 5 X 10(-4) M EDN, kinetics of killing by these 2 proteins were essentially the same. Thus, on a molecular basis, both MBP and ECP appear to be potent helminthotoxins whereas EDN is much less so.

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