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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276
On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.90 no.2 Rio de Janeiro Mar./Apr. 1995 

Schistosoma mansoni: control of female fertility by the male

Werner Kunz1  , Lutz Gohr1  , Christoph Grevelding1  , Peter Schüssler1  , Gabriele Sommer1  , Marion Menrath1  , Anja Michel1 

University and Biological-Medical Research Center, Institute of Genetics, Düsseldorf, Germany


We have established an in vitro culture system for adult schistosomes that allows monitoring gene expression for up to more than ten days. Comparing female worms that are paired with those that have been separated, we find distinct differences, clearly documenting an influence of the male in female gene expression. In perfect coincidence with classical observations that were based on histological techniques, we find that the male particularly regulates gene expression in those tissues that are characterized by cell proliferation, e.g. the vitellaria. From these results, we hypothesize that the key target for the inductive signal that is transferred from the male to the female during pairing is the activation of a growth factor that stimulates mitotic proliferation.

Key words: Schistosoma mansoni; in vitro culture; gene expression; male; female interaction


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