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J Insect Physiol. 2006 May;52(5):417-29. Epub 2006 Mar 9.

Insect haemocytes: what type of cell is that?

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Ecologie Microbienne des Insectes et Relations Hôte-Pathogène (UMR 1133 INRA-UMII), Pl. E. Bataillon 34095 Montpellier, France.


Classification of insect larvae circulating haemocytes is the subject of controversy, and the terminology used to designate each cellular type is often different from one species to another. However, a survey of the literature on insect haemocytes suggests that there are resemblances for most of the cell types and functions, in different insect species. In this review paper, we compare the structure and functions of circulating haemocytes in those insect species that are, by far, the most often used species for insect physiology studies, i.e. lepidopteran species and Drosophila. We show that there is high degree of homology of haemocyte types and suggest possible synonymies in terminology among species from these taxa.

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