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J Innate Immun. 2018;10(1):70-81. doi: 10.1159/000481524. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Nitric Oxide Mediates Insect Cellular Immunity via Phospholipase A2 Activation.

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Department of Bio-Sciences, Andong National University, Andong, Korea.


After infection or invasion is recognized, biochemical mediators act in signaling insect immune functions. These include biogenic amines, insect cytokines, eicosanoids, and nitric oxide (NO). Treating insects or isolated hemocyte populations with different mediators often leads to similar results. Separate treatments with an insect cytokine, 2 biogenic amines, and an eicosanoid lead to a single result, hemocyte spreading, understood in terms of intracellular cross-talk among these signaling systems. This study focuses on the cross-talk between NO and eicosanoid signaling in our model insect, Spodoptera exigua. Bacterial injection increased NO concentrations in the larval hemocytes and fat body, and RNA interference (RNAi) of the S. exigua NO synthase (NOS) gene suppressed NO concentrations. RNAi treatment also led to a significant reduction in hemocyte nodulation following bacterial injection. Similar RNAi treatments led to significantly reduced PLA2 activities in the hemocytes and fat body compared to control larvae. Injection of L-NAME also prevented the induction of PLA2 activity following bacterial challenge. An injected NO donor, S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine, increased PLA2 activity in a dose-dependent manner. However, eicosanoids did not influence NO concentrations in immune-challenged larvae. We infer that NO and eicosanoid signaling operate via cross-talk mechanisms in which the elevated NO concentrations activate PLA2 and eicosanoid biosynthesis, which finally mediates various immune responses.


<italic>Spodoptera exigua</italic>; Eicosanoid; Immune response; Nitric oxide; Nitric oxide synthase

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