To ascertain the anthelmintic efficacy ofFlemingia vestita (an indigenous leguminous plant of Meghalaya, having putative anthelmintic usage), its crude root-tuber peel extract and active chemical principle, genistein, were testedin vitro with reference to esterase activity in the fowl tapeworm,Raillietina echinobothrida. With the localization of non-specific esterases (NSE) and cholinesterase (ChE), the organization of the cholinergic components of the nervous system in toto could be visualized in the cestodeo The specific ChE in the parasite is acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Both NSE and ChE were found in close association with the central and peripheral nervous components, besides being present in the tegument and muscular parts of the terminal male genitalia. The whole tissue homogenate of the parasite also showed a high AChE activity. After exposure to the crude peel extract (50 mg/ml of the incubation medium) and to genistein (0.5 mg/ml), a pronounced decline in the visible stain intensity in the cholinergic components of the nervous system and in the tegument was noticeable, indicating extremely reduced activity of NSE and ChE in these sites. The total AChE activity was also reduced to 4907% and 56–77%, following treatment with the peel extract and genistein, respectively. The reference drug, praziquantel (0.01 mg/ml) also caused reduction in the enzyme activity, somewhat at par with the genistein treatment. Genistein appears to have a transtegumental mode of action. Alteration in the AChE activity points towards acetylcholine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter in cestodes, as the potential target of action.
Volume 45, 2020
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