Phospholipase A2 Activity in Salivary Glands and Saliva of the Lone Star Tick (Acari: Ixodidae) during Tick Feeding

Kuichun Zhu*, Alan S. Bowman, Jack W. Dillwith, John R. Sauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity levels in tick [Amblyamma americanum (L.)] salivary glands and saliva were examined during tick feeding by using 14C- phosphatidylcholine as the substrate. Saliva produced by stimulating female ticks to salivate with dopamine contains PLA2 (ts-PLA2) activity The ts-PLA2 activity level in saliva did not change significantly during tick feeding except for a decrease in the last rapid feeding phase (>200 mg) and in replete ticks. Phospholipase A2 activity was higher in salivary glands of fed than unfed ticks, both in males and females; activity increased during tick feeding correlating with salivary secretory rates during tick feeding suggesting that much of the PLA2 activity measured in whole salivary glands is synthesized for subsequent secretion. During the time course of in vitro salivation, the first 10 μl of saliva contained higher ts-PLA2 activity than saliva secreted thereafter. Phospholipase A2 was identified in the saliva of artificially fed ticks indicating that ts-PLA2 is a physiological component of tick saliva.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-504
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998


  • Amblyomma americanum
  • Phospholipase A
  • Salivary gland
  • Tick saliva


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