Schistosoma mansoni: cholesterol uptake by paired and unpaired worms.Exp Parasitol 1986; 61(3):343-7EP
Mature males and females of Schistosoma mansoni were incubated for 24 hr in medium containing [3H]cholesterol. Worms thus labeled were paired for 24 hr with unlabeled partners, in vitro or in vivo by surgical implantation into hamsters. Controls consisted of additional unlabeled worms that did not pair. Scintillation counting of thin layer chromatographic separations of lipid extracts of schistosome tissues and of the culture medium indicated that [3H]cholesterol underwent no major metabolic changes during the course of the experiment. During the period of time allowed for pairing, labeled worms lost up to 65% of their [3H]cholesterol, which was detected in the pairing medium. In both unlabeled males and females which had paired with labeled partners, levels of [3H]cholesterol were higher than in unpaired controls. This suggests that normal cholesterol transfer in worm pairs is bidirectional and that it is facilitated by physical contact between juxtaposed membranes. Cholesterol exchange in schistosome worm pairs may be partly or wholly a consequence of normal tegumental turnover of the molecule.