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Haemocytic encapsulation in the locust Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera) and in the cockroach Periplaneta americana (Dictyoptera)

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The numbers and types of haemocytes in adult male Schistocerca gregaria and Periplaneta americana have been studied in an attempt to explain the differences in thickness of haemocytic capsules formed around abiotic particles in the 2 species. Total and differential haemocyte counts and measurements of blood volume using 3H-inulin indicate that there are 3–4 times more plasmatocytes in the cockroach than in the locust. Although the three main haemocyte types are easily recognised by phase-contrast microscopy, there are few distinguishing ultrastructural characteristics and thus defining the cell types that make up the capsule is difficult. In early capsules in the locust, but not in the cockroach, signs of coagulocyte lysis are apparent, and in both species the bulk of the capsule appears to be made up of granular plasmatocyte-like cells. The relatively thinner capsules formed in the locust might be due to the slow, and limited, recruitment of plasmatocytes to the developing capsule. The material coating completed capsules appears ultrastructurally similar to the subepidermal “basement membrane”, and both these layers stain with Alcian blue. Once the coating material has formed, the capsule appears to be treated as “self” by the immunorecognition system.

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Correspondence to Dr. A. M. Lackie.

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Lackie, A.M., Takle, G. & Tetley, L. Haemocytic encapsulation in the locust Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera) and in the cockroach Periplaneta americana (Dictyoptera). Cell Tissue Res. 240, 343–351 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00222344

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Key words

  • Blood volume
  • Encapsulation
  • Insect haemocytes