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Dev Comp Immunol. 1997 Jul-Aug;21(4):323-36.

LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-activated immune responses in a hemocyte cell line from Estigmene acraea (Lepidoptera).

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Institute of Zoology, Free University of Berlin, Germany.


The suitability of the hemocyte cell line BTI-EA-1174-A from Estigmene acraea (Lepidoptera) to serve as a tool for studying insect immune reactions in vitro was investigated. Addition of bacterial lipopolysaccharides to the cultures caused enhanced phagocytosis of silica beads, as well as increased lysozyme activity in the cell culture supernatants. Addition of fungal beta 1,3-glucans did not result in any activation. The LPS-influenced (1 mg/mL) increase of phagocytic reactions against the silica beads was at its highest within 24 h after LPS-addition. Activated cells exhibited drastic changes in their morphology in connection with reduced cell numbers in the cultures but without increased mortality rates. LPS-dosages higher than 10 micrograms/mL LPS provoked significantly enhanced lysozyme activities. A maximal induction took place with 1 mg/mL LPS. The lysozyme activity started to rise 2 days after LPS-addition, further increase was observed up to the seventh day. The responsible protein was isolated from cell culture supernatants and N-terminally sequenced. The exact molecular mass was determined by mass spectrometry as 14.080 kDa. The amino acid sequence of the analysed portion revealed high sequence-similarity to the lysozymes of other lepidopteran insects as well as to hen egg lysozyme. Further results presented in this paper give indications for the existence of soluble molecules which are released by the cells and which enhance the LPS-triggered activation.

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