Preza, Matías, et al. “Global analysis of neuropeptides in cestodes identifies Attachin, a SIFamide homolog, as a stimulant of parasite motility and attachment.” Journal of Neurochemistry 162.6 (2022): 467-482. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15418
Many anthelmintics target the neuromuscular system, in particular by interfering with signalling mediated by classical neurotransmitters. In this work, we have characterised the neuropeptide complement of the model cestode Hymenolepis microstoma. Analysis of gene expression of ten npp genes by in situ hybridization confirmed that all of them are expressed in the nervous system and identified cryptic features, including the first evidence of dorsoventral asymmetry, as well as a new population of peripheral peptidergic cells that appears to be conserved in the trematode Schistosoma mansoni. Finally, we characterised in greater detail Attachin, an SIFamide homolog. Although its expression is largely restricted to the longitudinal nerve cords and cerebral commissure in H. microstoma, it shows widespread localization in the larval nervous system of Echinococcus multilocularis and Mesocestoides corti. Altogether, this work provides a robust experimental foothold for the characterization of peptidergic signalling in parasitic flatworms.