We report the expression of 3 well-characterized adult Schistosoma mansoni glycan antigens among molluscan stages of the parasite. These antigens are LacdiNAc (LDN; GalNAcβ1-4GlcNAc-R), fucosylated LacdiNAc (LDNF; GalNAc[Fucα1-3]β1-4GlcNAc-R), and Lewis x (Lex; Gal[Fucα1-3]β1-4GlcNAc-R). The presence of the glycans was determined by both immunoblot and immunohistological methods using monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognize each glycan epitope. Immunoblot analyses reveal that LDN and LDNF epitopes are expressed on many different glycoproteins, including eggs, mother sporocysts, daughter sporocysts, and cercariae, although LDN expression among daughter sporocysts is greatly reduced. LDN and LDNF epitopes are localized on the tegument and in the intrasporocyst cell masses of both in vitro–derived and in vivo–derived mother sporocysts and in the daughter sporocysts derived on day 16 after infection. Unexpectedly, high levels of LDN and LDNF glycans were detected in the infected, but not in the uninfected, snail hemolymph, suggesting that the infecting larvae secrete LDN and LDNF glycoconjugates into the snail hosts. In contrast, the expression of Lex antigen among the molluscan stages is highly restricted. Lex is present on a few high–molecular weight glycoproteins in eggs and cercariae but is undetectable in mother and daughter sporocysts. Taken together with our earlier studies on vertebrate stages of S. mansoni, these results show that LDN and LDNF glycans are conserved during schistosome development. The study further extends the evidence that Lex is a developmentally regulated antigen in schistosomes.

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