During its life cycle, the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni uses the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata as an intermediate host to reproduce asexually generating cercariae for infection of the human definitive host. Following invasion of the snail, the parasite develops from a miracidium to a mother sporocyst and releases excretory-secretory products (ESPs) that likely influence the outcome of host infection. To better understand molecular interactions between these ESPs and the host snail defence system, we determined gene expression profiles of haemocytes from S. mansoni-resistant or -susceptible strains of B. glabrata exposed in vitro to S. mansoni ESPs (20 μg/ml) for 1 h, using a 5K B. glabrata cDNA microarray. Ninety-eight genes were found differentially expressed between haemocytes from the two snail strains, 57 resistant specific and 41 susceptible specific, 60 of which had no known homologue in GenBank. Known differentially expressed resistant-snail genes included the nuclear factor kappa B subunit Relish, elongation factor 1α, 40S ribosomal protein S9, and matrilin; known susceptible-snail specific genes included cathepsins D and L, and theromacin. Comparative analysis with other gene expression studies revealed 38 of the 98 identified genes to be uniquely differentially expressed in haemocytes in the presence of ESPs, thus identifying for the first time schistosome ESPs as important molecules that influence global snail host-defence cell gene expression profiles. Such immunomodulation may benefit the schistosome, enabling its survival and successful development in the snail host.
Zahoor, Z., Lockyer, A. E., Davies, A. J., Kirk, R. S., Emery, A. M., Rollinson, D., Jones, C. S., Noble, L. R., & Walker, A. J. (2014). Differences in the gene expression profiles of haemocytes from schistosome-susceptible and -resistant biomphalaria glabrata exposed to Schistosoma mansoni excretory-secretory products. PloS ONE, 9(3), [e93215]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093215