Sessile hemocytes as a hematopoietic compartment in Drosophila melanogaster

Róbert Márkus, Barbara Laurinyecz, Éva Kurucz, Viktor Honti, Izabella Bajusz, Botond Sipos, Kálmán Somogyi, Jesper Kronhamn, Dan Hultmark, István Andó

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142 Citations (Scopus)


The blood cells, or hemocytes, in Drosophila participate in the immune response through the production of antimicrobial peptides, the phagocytosis of bacteria, and the encapsulation of larger foreign particles such as parasitic eggs; these immune reactions are mediated by phylogenetically conserved mechanisms. The encapsulation reaction is analogous to the formation of granuloma in vertebrates, and is mediated by large specialized cells, the lamellocytes. The origin of the lamellocytes has not been formally established, although it has been suggested that they are derived from the lymph gland, which is generally considered to be the main hematopoietic organ in the Drosophila larva. However, it was recently observed that a subepidermal population of sessile blood cells is released into the circulation in response to a parasitoid wasp infection. We set out to analyze this phenomenon systematically. As a result, we define the sessile hemocytes as a novel hematopoietic compartment, and the main source of lamellocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4805-4809
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Mar 24 2009



  • Cellular immunity
  • Lamellocytes
  • Niche
  • Parasitoid wasp
  • Plasmatocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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