Indexed on: 13 Jul '14Published on: 13 Jul '14Published in: Micron
The etiological agent of schistosomiasis in Brazil, Schistosoma mansoni, requires an obligatory passage through Biomphalaria snails to complete its life cycle. In these intermediate hosts, interaction with the parasite is mediated by humoral factors and hemocytes by mechanisms that are not yet fully understood. Extant studies exploring these processes are usually conducted through experimental infection of Biomphalaria with S. mansoni miracidia. Thus, tissue-derived cultures of Biomphalaria may be useful in increasing the understanding of that interaction at cellular level. However, in the absence of morphological characterization of those cells in culture, the application of such models is delayed. In the present work, we cultured different tissues of B. tenagophila, the second most important host of S. mansoni in Brazil, using a strain that is naturally and absolutely resistant to S. mansoni infection. This decision was driven by the view that this strain might be provided with the most effective response against parasite infection. Primary cultures were successfully established from nine Biomphalaria tissues and the respective cells in culture were ultra structurally described. Attention was particularly devoted to cells derived from mantle cavity and kidney tissues. Although they have been considered important centers for hemocyte production in Biomphalaria, no detailed cell characterization is available in the pertinent literature. Herein, kidney-derived cells partially shared hematoblast characteristics. Moreover, under optical microscopy, kidney cells in culture were very similar to those derived from amebocyte-producing organ (APO) cultures, which have been recently shown to be capable of eliminating S. mansoni sporocysts in vitro. Based on the close resemblance of those cultures and their anatomical proximity inside the mantle cavity, we suggest the effective participation of Biomphalaria kidney cells in hematopoiesis and in host response to S. mansoni infection.