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Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist January 1, 2018; 8 (3): 540-549.

Nicotine-sensitive acetylcholine receptors are relevant pharmacological targets for the control of multidrug resistant parasitic nematodes.

Charvet CL , Guégnard F , Courtot E , Cortet J , Neveu C .

The control of parasitic nematodes impacting animal health relies on the use of broad spectrum anthelmintics. However, intensive use of these drugs has led to the selection of resistant parasites in livestock industry. In that respect, there is currently an urgent need for novel compounds able to control resistant parasites. Nicotine has also historically been used as a de-wormer but was removed from the market when modern anthelmintics became available. The pharmacological target of nicotine has been identified in nematodes as acetylcholine-gated ion channels. Nicotinic-sensitive acetylcholine receptors (N-AChRs) therefore represent validated pharmacological targets that remain largely under-exploited. In the present study, using an automated larval migration assay (ALMA), we report that nicotinic derivatives efficiently paralyzed a multiple (benzimidazoles/levamisole/pyrantel/ivermectin) resistant field isolate of H. contortus. Using C. elegans as a model we confirmed that N-AChRs are preferential targets for nornicotine and anabasine. Functional expression of the homomeric N-AChR from C. elegans and the distantly related horse parasite Parascaris equorum in Xenopus oocytes highlighted some striking differences in their respective pharmacological properties towards nicotine derivative sensitivity. This work validates the exploitation of the nicotine receptors of parasitic nematodes as targets for the development of resistance-breaking compounds.

PubMed ID: 30502120
PMC ID: PMC6287576
Article link: Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: btg3 tpm3

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