Document Detail

A protocol for collecting and staining hemocytes from the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21633325     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Mosquitoes are vectors for a number of disease-causing pathogens such as the yellow fever virus, malaria parasites and filarial worms. Laboratories are investigating anti-pathogen components of the innate immune system in disease vector species in the hopes of generating transgenic mosquitoes that are refractory to such pathogens(1, 2). The innate immune system of mosquitoes consists of several lines of defense (3). Pathogens that manage to escape the barrier imposed by the epithelium-lined mosquito midgut (4) enter the hemolymph and encounter circulating hemocytes, important cellular components that encapsulate and engulf pathogens (5, 6). Researchers have not found evidence for hematopoietic tissues in mosquitoes and current evidence suggests that the number of hemocytes is fixed at adult emergence and numbers may actually decline as the mosquito ages (7). The ability to properly collect and identify hemocytes from medically important insects is an essential step for studies in cellular immunity. However, the small size of mosquitoes and the limited volume of hemolymph pose a challenge to collecting immune cells. Two established methods for collecting mosquito hemocytes include expulsion of hemolymph from a cut proboscis (8), and volume displacement (perfusion), in which saline is injected into the membranous necklike region between the head and thorax (i.e., cervix) and the perfused hemolymph is collected from a torn opening in a distal region of the abdomen (9, 10). These techniques, however, are limited by low recovery of hemocytes and possible contamination by fat body cells, respectively (11). More recently a method referred to as high injection/recovery improved recovery of immunocytes by use of anticoagulant buffers while reducing levels of contaminating scales and internal tissues (11). While that method allows for an improved method of collecting and maintaining hemocytes for primary culture, it entails a number of injection and collecting steps that are not necessary if the downstream goal is to collect, fix and stain hemocytes for diagnostics. Here, we demonstrate our method of collecting mosquito hemolymph that combines the simplicity of perfusion, using anticoagulant buffers in place of saline solution, with the accuracy of high injection techniques to isolate clean preparations of hemocytes in Aedes mosquitoes.
Amina A Qayum; Aparna Telang
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Video-Audio Media     Date:  2011-05-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1940-087X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Vis Exp     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-06-02     Completed Date:  2012-04-06     Revised Date:  2013-06-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101313252     Medline TA:  J Vis Exp     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biology, University of Richmond, VA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aedes / chemistry*,  cytology*
Cytological Techniques / methods*
Hemocytes / chemistry*,  cytology*
Insect Vectors / chemistry,  cytology
Staining and Labeling / methods*

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