Comparative study of hemocytes and associated cells of some medically important dipterans
Norman Ratcliffe A.
Kaaya Godwin P.
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The aim of this work is to study, characterize, and compare different morphological types of hemocytes of Glossina austeni, G. morsitans, Calliphora erythrocephala, Stomoxys calcitrans, Lucilia sericata, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus. This information is intended to provide a basis for future studies of the cellular defense mechanisms of these dipterans. Seven morphological types of hemocytes were identified by phase-contrast optics: prohemocytes, plasmatocytes, thrombocytoids, granulocytes, adipohemocytes, oenocytoids, and spindle cells of various sizes. Adipohemocytes are difficult to distinguish from both fat body cells and granulocytes. All seven cell types are not present in every species. For example, thrombocytoids and spindle cells were not found in A. aegypti or C. quinquefasciatus, and oenocytoids were observed only in A. aegypti, C. quinquefasciatus, and in C. erythrocephala. In addition to the hemocytes, fat body cells and nephrocytes are also freely present in the hemolymph of some species but may have gained access to the blood during the bleeding process. With electron microscopy and with thick plastic sections of G. austeni hemolymph, only nephrocytes, plasmatocytes, granulocytes, and spindle cells were identified wth any certainty, and the large spindle cells are morphologically very different from those found in the other dipterans. They are rigid cells supported by microtubules running throughout their entire length. These hemocytes are present in large numbers only in newly emerged flies, they are absent in larvae and young pupae, and are rare in old adults. Their disappearance from the hemolymph of newly emerged Glossiua appears to be a result of phagocytosis by the plasmatocytes.