Schistosomiasis, classified by the World Health Organization as a neglected tropical disease, is an intravascular parasitic disease associated to a chronic inflammatory state. Evidence implicating inflammation in vascular dysfunction continues to mount, which, broadly defined, reflects a failure in the control of intracellular Ca2+
and consequently, vascular contraction. Therefore, we measured aorta contraction induced by 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and endothelin-1 (ET-1), two important regulators of vascular contraction. Isometric aortic contractions were determined in control and Schistosoma mansoni
-infected mice. In the infected animals, 5-HT induced a 50% higher contraction in relation to controls and we also observed an increased contraction in response to Ca2+
mobilisation from sarcoplasmic reticulum. Nevertheless, Rho kinase inhibition reduced the contraction in response to 5-HT equally in both groups, discarding an increase of the contractile machinery sensitivity to Ca2+
. Furthermore, no alteration was observed for contractions induced by ET-1 in both groups. Our data suggest that an immune-vascular interaction occurs in schistosomiasis, altering vascular contraction outside the mesenteric portal system. More importantly, it affects distinct intracellular signalling involved in aorta contraction, in this case increasing 5-HT receptor signalling.