Folia Parasitologica 62:049 (2015) | 10.14411/fp.2015.049
The biology of sialic acids has been an object of interest in many models of acquired and inherited skeletal muscle pathology. The present study focuses on the sialylation changes in mouse skeletal muscle after invasion by the parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis (Owen, 1835). Asynchronous infection with T. spiralis was induced in mice that were sacrificed at different time points of the muscle phase of the disease. The amounts of free sialic acid, sialylated glycoproteins and total sialyltransferase activity were quantified. Histochemistry with lectins specific for sialic acid was performed in order to localise distribution of sialylated glycoconjugates and to clarify the type of linkage of the sialic acid residues on the carbohydrate chains. Elevated intracellular accumulation of α-2,3- and α-2,6-sialylated glycoconjugates was found only within the affected sarcoplasm of muscle fibres invaded by the parasite. The levels of free and protein-bound sialic acid were increased and the total sialyltransferase activity was also elevated in the skeletal muscle tissue of animals with trichinellosis. We suggest that the biological significance of this phenomenon might be associated with securing integrity of the newly formed nurse cell within the surrounding healthy skeletal muscle tissue. The increased sialylation might inhibit the affected muscle cell contractility through decreased membrane ion gating, helping the parasite accommodation process.
Received: February 9, 2015; Accepted: July 1, 2015; Published online: September 7, 2015