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J Invertebr Pathol. 1990 Jul;56(1):123-7.

Effect of gamma irradiation on the hemocyte-mediated immune response of Aedes aegypti against microfilariae.

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Department of Veterinary Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


The effect of gamma irradiation on the melanotic encapsulation response of Aedes aegypti black eye Liverpool strain against inoculated Dirofilaria immitis microfilariae (mff) was assessed at 1, 2, 3, and 6 days postinoculation (PI). Mosquitoes received 6000 rad from a 137Cs source (Shepard Mark I irradiator) at 3 days postemergence and were inoculated with 15-20 mff 24 hr later. These mosquitoes were compared to nonirradiated controls that also were inoculated with 15-20 mff at 3 days postemergence. The immune response was significantly reduced in irradiated mosquitoes as compared with controls at all days PI. Although the response was significantly inhibited compared with controls, irradiated mosquitoes were still capable of eliciting a response against 69% of recovered mff at 6 days PI. External gamma irradiation did not significantly affect the proliferation of hemocytes associated with the melanotic encapsulation response of A. aegypti. The number of circulating hemocytes increased in irradiated mosquitoes in response to inoculated mff in a manner similar to nonirradiated, inoculated controls. Hemocyte monophenol oxidase activity, however, was significantly reduced in gamma-irradiated mosquitoes at 12 hr PI as compared with controls. The reduced immunological capacity of irradiated mosquitoes might be related to an interference with gene activity required for the synthesis or activation of enzymes that are directly or indirectly involved in the biochemical processes associated with the production of melanotic substances that sequester mff.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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