Tissue-specific immune gene expression in the migratory locust, Locusta Migratoria

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Insects, 2015, 6 (2), pp. 368 - 380
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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The ability of hosts to respond to infection involves several complex immune recognition pathways. Broadly conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) allow individuals to target a range of invading microbes. Recently, studies on insect innate immunity have found evidence that a single pathogen can activate different immune pathways across species. In this study, expression changes in immune genes encoding peptidoglycan-recognition protein SA (PGRP-SA), gram-negative binding protein 1 (GNBP1) and prophenoloxidase (ProPO) were investigated in Locusta migratoria, following an immune challenge using injected lipopolysaccharide (LPS) solution from Escherichia coli. Since immune activation might also be tissue-specific, gene expression levels were followed across a range of tissue types. For PGRP-SA, expression increased in response to LPS within all seven of the tissue-types assayed and differed significantly between tissues. Expression of GNBP1 similarly varied across tissue types, yet showed no clear expression difference between LPS-injected and uninfected locusts. Increases in ProPO expression in response to LPS, however, could only be detected in the gut sections. This study has revealed tissue-specific immune response to add a new level of complexity to insect immune studies. In addition to variation in recognition pathways identified in previous works, tissue-specificity should be carefully considered in similar works.
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