Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Microbiol. 2003 Sep;5(9):573-80.

Drosophila blood cells.

Author information

UPR 9022 du CNRS, IBMC, 15 rue René Descartes, 67084 Strasbourg, France.


Drosophila blood cells or haemocytes belong to three lineages: plasmatocytes, crystal cells and lamellocytes. There is no equivalent of a lymphoid lineage in insects which have no adaptive immunity. Haematopoiesis is under the control of a number of transcription factors and signalling pathways (such as GATA factors, JAK/STAT or Notch pathways) most of which have homologues which participate in the control of mammalian haematopoiesis. Drosophila plasmatocytes are professional phagocytes reminiscent of the cells from the mammalian monocyte/macrophage lineage. Several receptors responsible for recognition of microorganisms or apoptotic corpses have been identified, which include a Scavenger Receptor, a CD36 homologue and a peptidoglycan recognition protein. Crystal cells contain the enzymes necessary for humoral melanization that accompanies a number of immune reactions. The production of melanin generates, as by-products, cytotoxic free radicals that are believed to participate in the killing of pathogens. Finally, lamellocytes represent a cell type that specifically differentiates after parasitism of Drosophila larvae and forms a capsule around the invader. Encapsulation together with melanization eventually kill the parasite within the capsule.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center