Anopheles gambiae hemocytes exhibit transient states of activation

William B. Bryant, Kristin Michel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Hemocytes are crucial players of the mosquito immune system and critically affect transmission of pathogens including malaria parasites. We and others discovered previously that a blood meal is a major immune stimulus for mosquito hemocytes. To determine whether these blood meal-induced hemocyte changes in Anopheles gambiae constitute steps in cell differentiation or demonstrate transient cell activation, we analyzed the temporal pattern of these changes over the first three days post blood meal (dpbm). Flow cytometry and immunofluorescence analyses revealed a global shift of the entire hemocyte population, peaking at 1 dpbm. All hemocyte activation markers returned to pre-blood meal baseline levels within the following 24-48 h. Our observations are consistant with An. gambiae hemocytes undergoing transient activation rather than terminal differentiation upon blood feeding. Interestingly, the temporal pattern followed the gonotrophic cycle of the mosquito, strongly suggesting hormonal control of mosquito hemocyte activation and deactivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellular immunity
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Innate immunity
  • Malaria
  • Mosquito

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Developmental Biology


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