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Exp Cell Res. 2005 Apr 15;305(1):145-55.

Microarray analysis of immune challenged Drosophila hemocytes.

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  • 1Department of Comparative Physiology, Evolutionary Biology Center, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18A, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.


Insect hemocytes play multiple roles in immunity and carry out cellular responses like phagocytosis, encapsulation and melanization as well as producing humoral effector proteins in the first line of defense after injury and invasion of microorganisms. In this work, we used the Drosophila melanogaster hemocyte-like cell line mbn-2 and Affymetrix Drosophila GeneChips to investigate the transcriptome of a single type of immune competent tissue exposed to Gram-negative cell wall components (crude LPS) or high dose infection with live Escherichia coli. We found that gene expression profiles of both treatments overlap but show important differences in expression levels of several genes involved in immunity. In addition, cell morphology during infection was monitored and revealed distinct alterations in cell shape and adhesion. Presence of large numbers of bacteria also increased the number of cells taking on crystal cell fate. Taken together, our results indicate that hemocytes sense and respond differently to purified bacterial surface molecules and infection with live and actively growing bacteria both at the level of gene expression and in cell behavior.

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