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Annu Rev Entomol. 1997;42:525-50.

Peritrophic matrix structure and function.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, LL57 2UW, UK. m.j.lehane@bangor.ac.uk

Abstract

Formed of proteins, glycoproteins, and chitin microfibrils in a proteoglycan matrix, the peritrophic matrix (PM) separates the food from the midgut epithelium in most but not all insects. A PM occurs in two forms. A type I PM is delaminated from the entire midgut epithelium and, in some cases, may only be formed in response to feeding and the type of meal ingested. A type II PM is produced by a specialized region of the anterior midgut called the cardia and forms a continuous sleeve (or sleeves) that is always present. As it is positioned between food and midgut epithelium, the PM plays key roles in the intestinal biology of the insect. The PM may protect the midgut epithelium from mechanical damage and insult from pathogens and toxins; it must act as a semipermeable membrane regulating passage of molecules between the different midgut compartments; and it may separate the midgut lumen into different, physiologically significant compartments.

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