Changes in the structure of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis intestinal cells during development from the free-living to the parasitic stages

J Parasitol. 1979 Oct;65(5):745-50.


The ultrastructure of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis intestinal cells was examined in free-living, feeding second-stage larvae, infective, nonfeeding third-stage larvae, and parasitic, feeding third-stage larvae. The intestinal cells of second-stage larvae were characterized by a well-developed microvillar border, large numbers of ribosomes, Golgi complexes, rough endoplasmic reticulum, and nuclei with prominent nucleoli. The intestinal cells of infective, third-stage larvae had very few microvilli and the cells were extremely narrow. Few ribosomes, Golgi complexes, and little rough endoplasmic reticulum were present. Nuclei did not contain nucleoli. When worms were introduced into an in vitro culture system, development of intestinal cells began. By 36 hr, microvilli were well differentiated and the cysoplasm contained numerous ribosomes and Golgi complexes, and rough endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and nucleoli were prominent. These morphological changes were related to changes in the physiology of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis which occur during development from a free-living to parasitic form.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / ultrastructure
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Intestines / ultrastructure
  • Larva / ultrastructure
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure
  • Nippostrongylus / growth & development*
  • Nippostrongylus / ultrastructure
  • Ribosomes / ultrastructure