Publication details

Hemolymph clotting and immunity.

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Year of publication 2011
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description We are interested in the clotting of insect hemolymph. Clotting in Drosophila involves the precipitation of clotting factors and crosslinking of the clot. The latter process is mediated through the activity of the two enzymes transglutaminase and phenoloxidase. Our recent work shows that in addition to sealing wounds clotting also has a major function in protecting Drosophila larvae from infections. Larvae with reduced expression of either clotting factors or transglutaminase are more susceptible to infections with certain bacteria. The most significant effects were observed when we infected larvae using a natural infection model involving entomopathogenic nematodes and their associated bacteria. Our most recent results show that while single mutants in several previously characterized immune pathways (such as the imd pathway) behave similar to normal larvae, double mutants succumb faster to the infection. For example Bc/imd double mutants show immune defects. Using inhibitors of eicosanoid biosynthesis and knockdown lines specific for candidate genes involved in eicosanoid production we also provide evidence that lipid mediators might play a role in insect immunity. Finally, we also show that blood clots in mammals contribute to immunity.
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