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By John Barrett (auth.)

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It is not clear if amino acids fulfill the same function in parasitic helminths, although there are claims that proline is an osmotic effector in the larval stages of the trematode Himasthla quissetensis 25 and that amino acid transport may be involved in osmoregulation in H. diminuta 89 • The amino acid pool is not necessarily a single entity, and there may be several independent amino acid pools in tissues. In cestodes, for example, there is some evidence of separate pools for amino acids which have just been absorbed and for synthetic intermediates.

The basic amino acid, lysine, may be having a histone-like function in the sperm. The non-protein amino acid, 4-aminobutyrate, causes muscle strips of A. lumbrico ides to relax, and this can be used for the bioassay of 4-aminobutyrate 30 • However, there is no evidence to show that 4-aminobutyrate is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in vivo. 2. 5. PROTEINS Proteins have many different biological functions, they are ubiquitous in their distribution and there is really no satisfactory scheme of classifying them.

Phosphatidic Acid Although it is an important intermediate and also the parent compound of phosphoglycerides, phosphatidic acid is usually only present in very small amounts in animal lipids. In helminths, it has been identified in H. diminuta and in the nematodes A. lumbricoides, D. immitis and Setaria cervi. Phosphatidylcholine This is usually the major phospholipid present in animal tissues and the same holds for parasitic helminths. Exceptions are the infective larvae of S. ratti and adult Ancylostoma caninum, where phosphatidylethanolamine predominates.

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