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Exp Parasitol. 1987 Oct;64(2):139-46.

Schistosoma mansoni: pH dependence of cercarial eicosanoid production, penetration, and transformation.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Rockford 61107.


The pH dependence of Schistosoma mansoni cercarial penetration and transformation was determined using a gelatin:agar matrix, containing 3mM linoleate, as a penetration substrate. Penetration was largely unaffected by pH, approaching 100% over the pH range of 5.4 to 8.2, while transformation had an optimum pH range between 6.2 and 7.4. Within this pH range, between 74 and 89% of cercariae lost their tails. Outside this range, transformation decreased to 0% above pH 7.8 and dropped to 57% at pH 5.4. Esculetin, a lipoxygenase inhibitor, also incorporated into the agar:gelatin plates at a concentration of 1 mM, had little effect on cercarial penetration, except between pH 6.5 and 6.65, where penetration rates fell to 50% at pH 6.63. Transformation, however, was inhibited by esculetin, except between pH 6.5 and 6.8, where transformation was statistically equivalent to controls (P = 0.064, two-tailed Student's t test). Cercarial eicosanoid production measured at pH 6.55 and 7.2 in the presence and absence of 1 mM esculetin has led to the tentative identification of a 5-lipoxygenase product associated with cercarial penetration: LTB4 or 6-trans LTB4, a breakdown product of LTB4. We discuss the importance of pH control in cercarial experiments as well as the possible modulatory role skin pH (surface, epidermal, and dermal) may have in regulating cercarial eicosanoid production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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