The Effect of Alpha-Tocopherol on the Expression of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Transforming Growth Factor Beta Genes in Three Developmental Stages of Echinococcus granulosus
Background: In recent decades platyhelminths have been used as model organisms to address some of the fundamental questions related to the growth and development of animal organisms. Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (EGFR) and Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF-beta) have a regulatory role in the growth and development of Echinococcus species. This study determined the effect of alpha-tocopherol on the expression of EGFR and TGF-beta genes in three in vitro developmental stages of E. granulosus.
Methods: E. granulosus protoscoleces were cultured in diphasic medium containing bovine serum and CMRL 1066. Three developmental stages of E. granulosus, i.e. invaginated protoscoleces, evaginated protoscoleces and three-proglottid worms, were treated by alpha-tocopherol (250 μg/ml for 36 h) and the expression of EGFR and TGF-beta genes were evaluated by using qPCR analysis.
Results: Intact protoscoleces were successfully developed to the segmented worms in diphasic culture media. Higher levels of both EGFR and TGF-beta gene expression were observed in the invaginated protoscoleces as well as the segmented worms in comparison to the non-treated controls.
Conclusion: Administration of alpha-tocopherol to different developmental stages of E. granulosus significantly enhanced EGFR and TGF-beta expression in the parasite. Both oxidant and non-oxidant activities of alpha-tocopherol could explain the study findings. Overexpression of the genes could in turn enhance growth factor effects and facilitates the viability of the parasite.
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