Mitochondrial dynamics is crucial for regulation of cell homeostasis. Schistosoma mansoni is one of the most common parasites known to cause liver disease. Mice infected by S. mansoni show acute symptoms of schistosomiasis after 8 weeks. Hence, in this study, we attempted to assess the direct effects of S. mansoni infection on mice liver, and to explore the expression of mitochondrial morphology, dynamics, and function. Our recent findings show that S. mansoni infection changes mitochondrial morphology and affects mitochondrial functions, which attenuates mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP generation. S. mansoni-infected mice increases mitochondrial numbers by upregulating of genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor c co-activator 1α (PGC1α) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam). This may promote mitochondria generation for accelerating the recovery of mitochondrial functions. Moreover, S. mansoni would disrupt mitochondrial dynamics including induced mitochondrial fission and promoted mitochondrial fragmentation in mice liver. More importantly, S. mansoni further stimulated upregulation both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathway in infected mice liver. The intrinsic pathway was triggered by cytochrome c release. Additionally, NFκB (nuclear factor-kappa B, p65) could play a protective role to inhibit apoptosis through reducing active caspase-3 expression. Therefore, our results confirmed the liver damage mechanism of experimental schistosomiasis in mice model.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases