Echinococcus multilocularis Cestoda, Cyclophyllidea, Taeniidae: oncospheral hook morphogenesisReport as inadecuate

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Parasitology Research

, Volume 115, Issue 10, pp 3715–3721

First Online: 20 May 2016Received: 04 May 2016Accepted: 12 May 2016


Ultrastructural characteristics of the oncospheral hook morphogenesis in the taeniid cestode Echinococcus multilocularis Leuckart, 1863, a parasite of medical and veterinary importance, are described. Oncospheral hook primordia appear at the preoncospheral phase of the embryonic development. Within six specialised cells of the so-called oncoblasts, high concentration of mitochondria, numerous ribosomes and extended Golgi regions are involved in hook development. During hook growth, the blade and base gradually protrude outside the oncoblast plasma membrane. The nucleated oncoblast persists around the handles of fully formed hooks. Simultaneously with the hook primordium elongation and transformation into a blade, handle and base, the hook material differentiates into an electron-dense cortex and a less dense inner core. The exit of the blade of each mature hook, protruding from the oncosphere, is surrounded by a circular, septate desmosome and two rigid, dense rings on either side. The pattern of oncospheral hook morphogenesis in E. multilocularis is compared with that of other previously examined cyclophyllidean cestodes. Though oncoblasts have never been observed around the mature hooks, their remnants are often still visible in the fully developed infective oncospheres in particular in some taeniid species so far examined in this respect. The origin and formation of oncospheral hooks in E. multilocularis, evidently differs from that of the rostellar hooks. Thus, although the hooks may have slight similarity at the gross level, they are neither analogous nor homologous structures.

KeywordsEchinococcus multilocularis Taeniid cestodes Preoncospheral differentiation Oncospheral hook morphogenesis Oncoblasts Hook-forming centre Ultrastructure  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Zdzisław Świderski - Jordi Miquel - Samira Azzouz-Maache - Anne-Françoise Pétavy


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