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Int J Parasitol. 1993 May;23(3):309-14.

Differential secretion of acetylcholinesterase and proteases during the development of Heligmosomoides polygyrus.


The development of the gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus was studied in the mouse. Levels of production of acetylcholinesterase and proteases were measured in excretory/secretory products of various stages of the parasite. The production of acetylcholinesterase was found to be maximal between days 4 and 6 post-infection, corresponding to the fourth larval stage of the parasite's life-cycle. Analysis of proteolytic activity revealed both quantitative and qualitative differences between the stages. Quantitative examination showed a maximal concentration of proteolytic enzymes in the early third larval stage (L3). Qualitative analysis revealed L3-associated molecules at 96, 15 and 8 kDa, L4-associated molecules at 58 and 33 kDa and adult-associated molecules at 116, 102, 39 and 25 kDa. A number appeared to be shared by all stages (18, 16 and 13 kDa), whilst others (76 and 42 kDa) appeared to be associated with the late L4/early adult parasite. The biological and immunological implications of variation in the production of proteases and acetylcholinesterase during the development of H. polygyrus are discussed.

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