Fat body and hemocyte contribution to the antimicrobial peptide synthesis in Calliphora vicina R.-D. (Diptera: Calliphoridae) larvae

  • Andrey Yu YakovlevEmail author
  • Alexander P. Nesin
  • Nina P. Simonenko
  • Natalia A. Gordya
  • Dmitriy V. Tulin
  • Anastasia A. Kruglikova
  • Sergey I. Chernysh


Antimicrobial peptides accumulated in the hemolymph in response to infection are a key element of insect innate immunity. The involvement of the fat body and hemocytes in the antimicrobial peptide synthesis is widely acknowledged, although release of the peptides present in the hemolymph from the immune cells was not directly verified so far. Here, we studied the presence of antimicrobial peptides in the culture medium of fat body cells and hemocytes isolated from the blue blowfly Calliphora vicina using complex of liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and antimicrobial activity assays. Both fat body and hemocytes are shown to synthesize and release to culture medium defensin, cecropin, diptericins, and proline-rich peptides. The spectra of peptide antibiotics released by the fat body and hemocytes partially overlap. Thus, the results suggest that insect fat body and blood cells are capable of releasing mature antimicrobial peptides to the hemolymph. It is notable that the data obtained demonstrate dramatic difference in the functioning of insect antimicrobial peptides and their mammalian counterparts localized into blood cells’ phagosomes where they exert their antibacterial activity.


Insect immunity Antimicrobial peptides Cell cultures Fat body Hemocytes 



The work was founded by the Russian Science Foundation (grant no. 16-14-00048). The research was supported by the St. Petersburg State University’s research resource centers «Molecular and cell technologies» and «Сenter for chemical analysis and materials research».


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Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrey Yu Yakovlev
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander P. Nesin
    • 1
  • Nina P. Simonenko
    • 1
  • Natalia A. Gordya
    • 1
  • Dmitriy V. Tulin
    • 1
  • Anastasia A. Kruglikova
    • 1
  • Sergey I. Chernysh
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Insect Biopharmacology and Immunology, Department of EntomologySaint-Petersburg State UniversitySaint-PetersburgRussia

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