Cellular Immune Responses in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Adrienne Ivory
  • Katherine Randle
  • Louisa Wu
Part of the Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology book series (NUCLEIC, volume 21)

The ability of blood cells, known as hemocytes, to detect and eliminate pathogens is vital to the Drosophila immune response. Various pathogens that can subvert the cellular immune response are often lethal to the fly. For example, parasitoid wasps deposit their eggs with chemicals targeting Drosophila hemocytes. These chemicals increase parasitoid success. Similarly, when hemocyte counts are drastically lowered through mutations like domino, mutant larvae are vulnerable to large—scale colonization by live bacteria. Further, the inhibition of phagocytic ability in hemocytes leads to a dramatic increase in susceptibility to Escherichia coli infection in flies lacking a humoral response. This chapter discusses our current understanding of encapsulation and phagocytosis, two cellular immune responses important for defense against parasites and bacteria. Both responses initiate with recognition, followed by activation of the blood cells, and finish with either encapsulation or uptake of the microbe. Recent works from many laboratories have used whole-genome RNAi screens, forward genetic screens, and fluorescent visualization of cellular processes to identify old and new players in these cellular immune responses.


Cellular Immune Response Cell Spreading Amidase Activity Tobacco Hornworm Encapsulation Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne Ivory
    • 1
  • Katherine Randle
    • 1
  • Louisa Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Biosystems ResearchUniversity of Maryland Biotechnology InstituteCollege ParkUSA

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