Send to

Choose Destination
Infect Immun. 2012 Jun;80(6):2141-9. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00024-12. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

Ingested human insulin inhibits the mosquito NF-κB-dependent immune response to Plasmodium falciparum.

Author information

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, USA.


We showed previously that ingested human insulin activates the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway in Anopheles stephensi and increases the susceptibility of these mosquitoes to Plasmodium falciparum. In other organisms, insulin can alter immune responsiveness through regulation of NF-κB transcription factors, critical elements for innate immunity that are also central to mosquito immunity. We show here that insulin signaling decreased expression of NF-κB-regulated immune genes in mosquito cells stimulated with either bacterial or malarial soluble products. Further, human insulin suppressed mosquito immunity through sustained phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activation, since inhibition of this pathway led to decreased parasite development in the mosquito. Together, these data demonstrate that activation of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway by ingested human insulin can alter NF-κB-dependent immunity, and ultimately the susceptibility, of mosquitoes to P. falciparum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center