Histochemical localization of acetylcholinesterase in the cerebral ganglia of Fasciola hepatica, a parasitic flatworm

S. C. Sukhdeo, M. V.K. Sukhdeo, D. F. Mettrick

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Acetylcholinesterase activity was found in the cell bodies and extracellularly in the neuropile of the cerebral ganglia of the adult trematode parasite, Fasciola hepatica. Within neuronal cell bodies of the cerebral ganglion, acetylcholinesterase reaction product was found in the endoplasmic reticulum, in the cisternae of the Golgi apparatus, and in secretory vesicles near the inner (releasing face) cisternae. Acetylcholinesterase reaction product was not seen intracellularly within any nerve processes. The reaction product was found around the somatic cell membranes and in the extracellular space between closely apposed nerve processes in the neuropile. Acetylcholinesterase reaction product was associated with synaptic endings that contained clear spheroidal synaptic vesicles, and the reaction product was localized at the site of synaptic contact between the zone of apposition of pre- and postsynaptic terminals. This intracellular and extracellular distribution of the enzyme is consistent with its function as the degrading enzyme in cholinergic transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1032
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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