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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1995 Apr;71(1):127-34.

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on the surface of the blood fluke Schistosoma.

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Wellcome Research Centre for Parasitic Infections, Dept. Biology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK.


Blood dwelling stages of schistosomes have acetylcholinesterase (AChE) on their teguments. As an initial step towards understanding the function of tegumental AChE, we have used specific ligand-binding assays to identify nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) on the schistosome surface. AChR could not be detected on migratory stages using fluoroscein isothiocyanate-alpha-bungarotoxin binding but the amount of specific labelling increased on sexual pairing and as the parasites matured into egg-producing adults. Both AChE and nAChR were concentrated on the dorsal surface of the adult male. These results indicate a role for AChE and AChR associated with the transporting function of this membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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