The production of reactive oxygen species by hemocytes from the gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata has been linked to their ability to kill the trematode parasite Schistosoma mansoni. For 2 laboratory strains of the snail, 1 resistant (13-16-R1) and 1 susceptible (MO) to the PR1 strain of S. mansoni, we compared hemocyte production of extracellular hydrogen peroxide when stimulated with the protein kinase C agonist phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). The time course of the PMA-induced response is similar in both strains with respect to onset, peak production, and termination of the respiratory burst. However, the magnitude of the response differs between strains, in that hemocytes from resistant snails generate significantly more hydrogen peroxide. These findings suggest that the capacity to produce hydrogen peroxide could be critical in determining susceptibility or resistance to S. mansoni.
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