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    Nematode parasite infections pose a significant threat in human and veterinary medicine. At least a third of the world's population is at risk from nematode parasite infections. These infections not only cause health problems, but also cause loss of livestock production and hence, economic losses. Anthelmintic drugs are the mainstay by which control of nematode parasite infections is achieved. Many of the currently available anthelmintics act on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). However, the detailed mode of action (MOA) of these anthelmintics is not clearly understood. Elucidation of the MOA of anthelmintics is highly desirable; an in-depth knowledge of the MOA will better inform on mechanisms of resistance development and on ways to slow down or overcome resistance. The cholinomimetic anthelmintic, morantel, has a complex MOA involving the activation and block of levamisole-sensitive single nAChR channels (L-type nAChR or L-nAChR). More recently, morantel has been demonstrated to activate Haemonchus contortus and Parascaris equorum ACR-26/ACR-27 nAChRs expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Previous studies in our laboratory, however, have shown morantel does not activate the nicotine-sensitive nAChR (N-type nAChR or N-nAChR), Ascaris suum ACR-16 (Asu-ACR-16). In this study, we used two-electrode voltage-clamp (TEVC) electrophysiology to investigate the inhibitory effects of morantel, on expressed Asu-ACR-16 nAChRs in X. laevis oocytes. Our results show that morantel acts as a non-competitive antagonist on Asu-ACR-16. This non-competitive antagonism by morantel was further demonstrated to be voltage-sensitive. We conclude based on our findings that morantel is a non-competitive voltage-sensitive open channel blocker of Asu-ACR-16.


    Melanie Abongwa, Katherine E Baber, Richard J Martin, Alan P Robertson. The cholinomimetic morantel as an open channel blocker of the Ascaris suum ACR-16 nAChR. Invertebrate neuroscience : IN. 2016 Dec;16(4):10

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    PMID: 27995347

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