Immunological perspectives of a host-parasite system : studies on the humoral and cellular components of Biomphalaria glabrata, New World host for Schistosoma mansoni Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/br86b779v

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  • The host snail Biomphalaria glabrata and the parasitic trematode Schistosoma mansoni are valuable subjects for studies evaluating and defining immunological parameters that determine the outcome of individual host-parasite encounters. In this thesis, both soluble and cellular components of the snail's hemolymph were examined to gain insight into the basis for resistance and susceptibility to the parasite. Because agglutinins have antibody-like activity (e.g. agglutinate particles with appropriate surface ligands, some have been found on cell surfaces) they are considered by many to be immunoglobulin analogs. An agglutinin was isolated from snail plasma, its physicochemical properties defined, and its possible role in the snail-parasite interaction examined. The presence of additional agglutinins is inferred from cross-adsorption experiments. It is known that the plant lectin concanavalin A binds to the surface of both hemocytes and sporocysts. I therefore tested the hypothesis that bringing hemocytes from susceptible (compatible) snails into contact with sporocysts in the presence of a cross-linking, or "bridging", reagent would result in sporocyst killing. Data are presented showing that indeed sporocyst death increased dramatically when such an encounter occurred. While hemocyte cytotoxicity is induced by Con A treatment of sporocysts, further investigation revealed that bridging between the target and effector does not appear to be the inducing mechanism. It is suggested that Con A treatment of sporocysts causes them to reveal surface markers that normally benign hemocytes recognize as foreign, which then triggers a cytotoxic reaction by the hemocytes. These results are discussed in the context of lectin-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity reported for murine cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. Studies of this type will lead to greater understanding of host-parasite immunobiology and of the evolutionary origins of the vertebrate immune system.
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  • 1986

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