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    Description

    How the innate immune system functions to defend insects from viruses is an emerging field of study. We examined the impact of melanized encapsulation, a component of innate immunity that integrates both cellular and humoral immune responses, on the success of the baculovirus Lymantria dispar multiple nucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (LdMNPV) in its host L. dispar. L. dispar exhibits midgutbased and systemic, age-dependent resistance to LdMNPV within the fourth instar; the LD50 in newly molted larvae is approximately 18-fold lower than in mid-instar larvae (48-72 h post-molt). We examined the role of the immune system in systemic resistance by measuring differences in hemocyte immunoresponsiveness to foreign targets, hemolymph phenoloxidase (PO) and FAD-glucose dehydrogenase (GLD) activities, and melanization of infected tissue culture cells. Mid-instar larvae showed a higher degree of hemocyte immunoresponsiveness, greater potential PO activity (pro-PO) at the time the virus is escaping the midgut to enter the hemocoel (72 h post-inoculation), greater GLD activity, and more targeted melanization of infected tissue, which correlate with reduced viral success in the host. These findings support the hypothesis that innate immune responses can play an important role in antiviral defenses against baculoviruses and that the success of these defenses can be age-dependent.

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    Citation

    McNeil, James; Cox-Foster, Diana; Slavicek, James; Hoover, Kelli. 2010. Contributions of immune responses to developmental resistance in Lymantria dispar challenged with baculovirus. Journal of Insect Physiology. 56: 1167-1177.

    Keywords

    encapsulation, innate immunity, hemocytes, phenoloxidase, FAD-glucose dehydrogenase, anti-viral defense, developmental resistance, baculovirus

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