After in vitro hycanthone treatment followed by a 20-hour incubation in drug-free medium, Schistosoma mansoni were still resistant to labeling by a fluorescent analog of acetylcholine. S. japonicum, in contrast with the hycanthone sensitive species, showed prompt reversal of the blocking effects of hycanthone on fluorescent labeling. This finding suggests that differences in the reversibility of hycanthone may correlate with the usefulness of the drug in the therapy of schistosome infections by different species of parasites. Scanning electron microscopy has been used to demonstrate that hycanthone treatment causes degeneration of the integument of S. mansoni, but not S. japonicum, over a period of few days after in vivo exposure to hycanthone. The mechanism by which hycanthone causes this effect is not known.
Present address: Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77550.
Present address: Botany Department, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont.