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Dev Comp Immunol. 1992 Mar-Jun;16(2-3):103-10.

Lamellocyte differentiation in Drosophila larvae parasitized by Leptopilina.

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Department of Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109.


The presence of Leptopilina heterotoma or Leptopilina boulardi eggs in the hemocoel of a Drosophila melanogaster larva induces the differentiation of lamellocytes, the blood cells that encapsulate foreign objects. L. boulardi eggs are encapsulated by the newly differentiated lamellocytes, but L. heterotoma eggs are not. The induced lamellocytes in host larvae with L. heterotoma eggs undergo the same destructive morphological changes as reported previously for lamellocytes present in melanotic tumor mutant larvae at the time of parasitization. Thus, the virus-like particles produced by the L. heterotoma female to protect its eggs from encapsulation do not block the differentiation of lamellocytes, but rather destroy lamellocytes whenever they are present in the hemocoel.

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