Ikuyo Arai, Masayuki Ohta, Asahi Suzuki, Shiho Tanaka, Yasutaka Yoshizawa, Ryoichi Sato
Journal of Insect Science 13 (125), 1-13, (1 November 2013) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.013.12501
KEYWORDS: cellular immunity, granulocyte, innate immunity, von Willebrand factor
Hemocytin, a multidomain protein from Bombyx mori L. (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae), is an ortholog of von Willebrand factor and is expected to be a major mediator of hemocyte aggregation. Antiserum was generated against hemocytin, and immune staining of hemocytes, hemolymph, and nodules was performed. Hemocytin was observed in steady-state hemocytes but not in plasma, even after bacterial injection. When hemolymph was smeared on glass slides, hemocytin-containing fibrous structures formed a cellular network mainly consisting of granulocytes and oenocytoids. Hemocytin was stained only in the granules of the granulocytes. When nodule-like aggregates formed 30 sec after bacterial injection, both granulocytes and bacterial cells were observed binding to hemocytin-containing fibrous structures. When nodule sections were stained with antiserum, hemocytin was seen in the matrix of the nodules surrounding the hemocytes. These data suggest that hemocytin plays a major role in nodule formation as a component of the sticky fibrous structure exocytosed from granulocytes.