Hematoloechus sp. attachment shifts endothelium in vivo from pro- to anti-inflammatory profile in Rana pipiens: evidence from systemic and capillary physiology

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American Physiological Society


This prospective, descriptive study focused on lung flukes (Hematoloechus sp., H) and their impact on systemic and individual capillary variables measured in pithed Rana pipiens, a long-standing model for studies of capillary physiology. Three groups were identified based on Hematoloechus attachment: no Hematoloechus (No H), Hematoloechus not attached (H Not Att), and Hematoloechus attached (H Att). Among 38 descriptive, cardiovascular, and immunological variables, 18 changed significantly with H. Symptoms of H included weight loss, elevated immune cells, heart rate variability, faster coagulation, lower hematocrit, and fluid accumulation. Important capillary function discoveries included median baselines for hydraulic conductivity (Lp) of 7.0 (No H), 12.4 (H Not Att), and 4.2 (H Att) × 10−7 cm·s−1·cmH2O−1 (P < 0.0001) plus seasonal adaptation of sigma delta pi [σ(πc–πi), P = 0.03]. Pro- and anti-inflammatory phases were revealed for Lp and plasma nitrite/nitrate concentration ([NOx]) in both H Not Att and H Att, whereas capillary wall tensile strength increased in the H Att. H attachment was advantageous for the host due to lower edema and for the parasite via a sustained food source illustrating an excellent example of natural symbiosis. However, H attachment also resulted in host weight loss: in time, a conundrum for the highly dependent parasite. The study increases overall knowledge of Rana pipiens by revealing intriguing effects of H and previously unknown, naturally occurring seasonal changes in many variables. The data improve Rana pipiens as a general scientific and capillary physiology model. Diseases of inflammation and stroke are among the clinical applications.


© American Physiological Society


hydration, lower vertebrates, nutrition, pulmonary, parasitology


Williams, D. A., & Flood, M. H. (2023). Hematoloechus sp. attachment shifts endothelium in vivo from pro-to anti-inflammatory profile in Rana pipiens: evidence from systemic and capillary physiology. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 325(2), R133-R153.
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