Adult somatic stem cells in the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni

James J. Collins, Bo Wang, Bramwell G. Lambrus, Marla E. Tharp, Harini Iyer, Phillip A. Newmark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

105 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Schistosomiasis is among the most prevalent human parasitic diseases, affecting more than 200 million people worldwide. The aetiological agents of this disease are trematode flatworms (Schistosoma) that live and lay eggs within the vasculature of the host. These eggs lodge in host tissues, causing inflammatory responses that are the primary cause of morbidity. Because these parasites can live and reproduce within human hosts for decades, elucidating the mechanisms that promote their longevity is of fundamental importance. Although adult pluripotent stem cells, called neoblasts, drive long-term homeostatic tissue maintenance in long-lived free-living flatworms (for example, planarians), and neoblast-like cells have been described in some parasitic tapeworms, little is known about whether similar cell types exist in any trematode species. Here we describe a population of neoblast-like cells in the trematode Schistosoma mansoni. These cells resemble planarian neoblasts morphologically and share their ability to proliferate and differentiate into derivatives of multiple germ layers. Capitalizing on available genomic resources and RNA-seq-based gene expression profiling, we find that these schistosome neoblast-like cells express a fibroblast growth factor receptor orthologue. Using RNA interference we demonstrate that this gene is required for the maintenance of these neoblast-like cells. Our observations indicate that adaptation of developmental strategies shared by free-living ancestors to modern-day schistosomes probably contributed to the success of these animals as long-lived obligate parasites. We expect that future studies deciphering the function of these neoblast-like cells will have important implications for understanding the biology of these devastating parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-479
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume494
Issue number7438
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2013

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Adult Stem Cells
Schistosoma mansoni
Parasites
Platyhelminths
Planarians
Eggs
Maintenance
Schistosoma
Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors
Germ Layers
Pluripotent Stem Cells
Parasitic Diseases
Cestoda
Schistosomiasis
Gene Expression Profiling
RNA Interference
RNA
Morbidity
Population
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Collins, J. J., Wang, B., Lambrus, B. G., Tharp, M. E., Iyer, H., & Newmark, P. A. (2013). Adult somatic stem cells in the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Nature, 494(7438), 476-479. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11924

Adult somatic stem cells in the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni. / Collins, James J.; Wang, Bo; Lambrus, Bramwell G.; Tharp, Marla E.; Iyer, Harini; Newmark, Phillip A.

In: Nature, Vol. 494, No. 7438, 28.02.2013, p. 476-479.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Collins, JJ, Wang, B, Lambrus, BG, Tharp, ME, Iyer, H & Newmark, PA 2013, 'Adult somatic stem cells in the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni', Nature, vol. 494, no. 7438, pp. 476-479. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11924
Collins JJ, Wang B, Lambrus BG, Tharp ME, Iyer H, Newmark PA. Adult somatic stem cells in the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Nature. 2013 Feb 28;494(7438):476-479. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11924
Collins, James J. ; Wang, Bo ; Lambrus, Bramwell G. ; Tharp, Marla E. ; Iyer, Harini ; Newmark, Phillip A. / Adult somatic stem cells in the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni. In: Nature. 2013 ; Vol. 494, No. 7438. pp. 476-479.
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