Parasitology research

Ultrastructural observations on oral ingestion and trans-tegumental uptake of clorsulon by the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica.

PMID 15645289


Three experiments have been carried out in vitro to determine the effect of oral and trans-tegumental uptake of clorsulon on the fine structure of the tegument and gut of Fasciola hepatica. Changes were assessed by transmission electron microscopy. In the first experiment, the flukes were ligatured to prevent the oral ingestion of drug and treated for 24 h in clorsulon (10 microg/ml). Limited swelling of the basal infolds was observed in the tegumental syncytium. Swollen mitochondria were present in the syncytium, the underlying tegumental cells and in the gastrodermal cells. Swelling and vesiculation of the cisternae of the granular endoplasmic reticulum (ger) was evident in the gastrodermal cells, together with a reduction in secretory activity. In the second experiment, flukes were fed for 24 h on red blood cells isolated from rats dosed with clorsulon at 12.5 mg/kg body weight; this experiment was designed to prevent the exposure of the tegumental surface to the drug. There was severe swelling of the basal infolds in the tegumental syncytium and swelling of mitochondria in the syncytium, tegumental cells and gastrodermal cells. In the tegumental cells there was a decrease in the number of Golgi complexes as well. A number of changes were evident in the gastrodermal cells: swelling of the ger cisternae, an increase in the number of autophagic vacuoles, a reduction in the number of secretory bodies and disruption of the lamellae projecting from the surface of the cells. In the third experiment, flukes were incubated for 24 h in clorsulon (10 microg/ml), with both absorptive surfaces being available for drug uptake. There was severe swelling of the basal infolds in the tegumental syncytium and large autophagic vacuoles were present. Swollen mitochondria were a feature of the tegument, tegumental cells and gastrodermal cells, as were swollen cisternae of ger in the tegumental and gastrodermal cells. Fewer Golgi complexes were observed in the tegumental cells and in the gastrodermal cells there were fewer secretory bodies and an increased number of autophagic vacuoles. Overall, the gastrodermal cells were more severely affected than the tegument. Greater disruption of the tegument occurred when the oral route of uptake was available. The results support those of previous studies which point to oral uptake of clorsulon being the major route of entry into the fluke.

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Clorsulon, VETRANAL®, analytical standard