Stem cell progeny contribute to the schistosome host-parasite interface

  1. James J Collins  Is a corresponding author
  2. George R Wendt
  3. Harini Iyer
  4. Phillip A Newmark
  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
  2. UT Southwestern Medical Center, United States

Abstract

Schistosomes infect more than 200 million of the world's poorest people. These parasites live in the vasculature, producing eggs that spur a variety of chronic, potentially life-threatening, pathologies exacerbated by the long lifespan of schistosomes, that can thrive in the host for decades. How schistosomes maintain their longevity in this immunologically hostile environment is unknown. Here we demonstrate that somatic stem cells in Schistosoma mansoni are biased towards generating a population of cells expressing factors associated exclusively with the schistosome host-parasite interface, a structure called the tegument. We show cells expressing these tegumental factors are short-lived and rapidly turned over. We suggest that stem cell-driven renewal of this tegumental lineage represents an important strategy for parasite survival in the context of the host vasculature.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. James J Collins

    Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States
    For correspondence
    JamesJ.Collins@UTSouthwestern.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. George R Wendt

    Department of Pharmacology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Harini Iyer

    Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Phillip A Newmark

    Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: In adherence to the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, all experiments with and care of vertebrate animals were performed in accordance with protocols approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (protocol approval number 10035) and UT Southwestern Medical Center (protocol approval number APN 2014-0072).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: October 21, 2015
  2. Accepted: March 3, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 22, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 15, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Collins et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. James J Collins
  2. George R Wendt
  3. Harini Iyer
  4. Phillip A Newmark
(2016)
Stem cell progeny contribute to the schistosome host-parasite interface
eLife 5:e12473.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12473
  1. Further reading

Further reading

  1. We catch up on research into schistosomiasis that we first covered in episode 29.

  2. How stem cells help parasitic worms to thrive in their host.