Depolarization of the tegument precedes morphological alterations in Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces incubated with ivermectin

Jorge Pérez-Serrano, Claudio Grosman, Maria Urrea-París, Guillermo Denegri, Nieves Casado, Filomena Rodríguez-Caabeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The nematocidal activity of ivermectin (IVM) largely arises from its activity as a potent agonist of muscular and neuronal glutamate-gated chloride channels. A cestocidal effect has also been suggested following in vitro treatments, but the molecular basis of this activity is not clear. We studied the effect of IVM on the metacestode stage of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus by assessing the viability, ultrastructure, and tegumental membrane potential as a function of drug concentration and incubation time. Concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 μg/ml of IVM had no effect on any of these three parameters for up to 6 days of treatment. A concentration of 10 μg/ml, however, elicited a sequence of alterations that started with a ∼20-mV depolarization of the tegumental membrane, and was followed by rostellar disorganization, rigid paralysis and, eventually, loss of viability. It is likely that the IVM-induced depolarization of the tegument acts as the signal that initiates the cascade of degenerative processes that leads to the parasite's death. This would place the tegument as the primary target of action of IVM on cestodes. As an appropriate chemotherapy for the hydatid disease is still lacking, the cestocidal effect of IVM reported here is worth considering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-807
Number of pages4
JournalParasitology Research
Volume87
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 9 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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