Identification of reference markers for characterizing honey bee (Apis mellifera) hemocyte classes

Erika Gábor, Gyöngyi Cinege, Gábor Csordás, Miklós Rusvai, Viktor Honti, Balázs Kolics, Tibor Török, Michael J. Williams, Éva Kurucz, István Andó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cell mediated immunity of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) involves the activity of several hemocyte populations, currently defined by morphological features and lectin binding characteristics. The objective of the present study was to identify molecular markers capable of characterizing subsets of honey bee hemocytes. We developed and employed monoclonal antibodies with restricted reactions to functionally distinct hemocyte subpopulations. Melanizing cells, known as oenocytoids, were defined by an antibody to prophenoloxidase, aggregating cells were identified by the expression of Hemolectin, and phagocytic cells were identified by a marker expressed on granulocytes. We anticipate that this combination of antibodies not only allows for the detection of functionally distinct hemocyte subtypes, but will help to further the exploration of hematopoietic compartments, as well as reveal details of the honey bee cellular immune defense against parasites and microbes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103701
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Apis mellifera
  • Hemocyte
  • Honey bee
  • Immunity
  • Insect immunity
  • Monoclonal antibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Developmental Biology

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