The concentration of l-hydroxyproline in the liver of ICR female mice increased rapidly during the 8th to 11th weeks of Schistosoma mansoni infection. Free l-proline concentration began to increase about the 7th week and reached its maximum at the 8th to 9th weeks of the infection, when the granulomatous response to the schistosome eggs in the liver was most prominent, as indicated by the increase in liver wet weight and its deoxyribonucleic acid concentration. A significant increment in the total activity of ornithine-δ-transaminase (EC 126.96.36.199) and the decrease in the specific activity of proline oxidase (EC 188.8.131.52) became detectable in the liver homogenate of infected mice on the 8th week. However, changes in these enzymatic activities were not parallel to that of the hepatic free l-proline content. Intraperitoneal administration of S. mansoni egg granulomas or 15,000g × 30 min supernatant fluid of their extracts into uninfected, normal mice significantly increased the hepatic free l-proline content without any appreciable effect on the enzymatic activities of proline oxidase and ornithine-δ-transaminase. These findings suggest that S. mansoni egg granulomas contain a factor(s) which may be responsible for the elevation of free l-proline content in the fibrotic liver caused by experimental schistosomiasis mansoni.
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