Insect Haemocytes: A New Classification to Rule Out the Controversy

  • M. Brehélin
  • D. Zachary
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


It has often been remarked that the classification of insect haemocytes is the subject of numerous controversies. This was seen once again at the round table discussion devoted to these cells at the Invertebrate Immunology Conference in Montpellier. Several explanations can be found for this. Some are connected with the methods used in research: method of preparation of the cells, lack of clear-cut tinctorial affinities in optical microscopy. Others are associated with the physiology of haemocytes: rapid transformation at bleeding, possibility of differentiation in circulating blood. Finally, another category of possible explanations concerns the scientists themselves: the terminology used is not always free of ambiguity, and it is difficult to make analogies between cell types described using electron microscopy and those described using optical microscopy.


Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum Granular Cell Spherule Cell Galleria Mellonella Cytoplasmic Fragment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Akai H, Sato S (1973) Ultrastructure of the larval haemocytes of the silkworm, Bombyx mori (L) ( Lepidoptera, Bombycidae). Int J Insect Morphol Embryol 2: 207–231Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Akai H, Sato S (1979) Surface and internal ultrastructure of hemocytes of some insects. In: Gupta AP (ed) Insect Hemocytes, development, forms, functions and techniques. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, London, p 129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baerwald RJ, Boush GM (1970) Fine structure of the haemocytes of Periplaneta americana with reference to marginal bundles. J Ultrastruct Res 31: 151–161PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Beaulaton J (1968) Etude ultrastructurale et cytochimique des glandes prothoraciques des vers à soie aux quatrième et cinquième âges larvaires I. La tunica propria et ses relations avec les fibres conjonctives et les hémocytes. J Ultrastruct Res 23: 474–498PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brehélin M (1977) Etude morphologique et fonctionnelle des hémocytes d’insectes. Thesis, L. Pasteur University, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brehélin M, Hoffmann JH (1980) Phagocytosis of inert particles in Locusta migratoria and Galleria mellonella: study of ultrastructure and clearance. J Insect Physiol 26: 103–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brehélin M, Zachary D (1983) About insect plasmatocytes and granular cells. Dev Comp Immunol 7: 683–686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Brehélin M, Hoffmann JA, Matz G, Porte A (1975) Encapsulation of implanted foreign bodies in Locusta migratoria and Melolontha melolontha. Cell Tissue Res 160: 283–289PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Brehélin M, Zachary D, Hoffmann JA (1978) A comparative ultrastructural study of blood cells from nine insect orders. Cell Tissue Res 195: 45–57PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Carter JB, Green EI, Barley P (1982) The haemocytes of Tipula paludosa larvae. ProcISDCI Invertebr Immunol Conf, September 1982, SwanseaGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Crossley AC (1975) The cytophysiology of Insect Blood. Adv Insect Physiol 11: 117–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Devauchelle G (1971) Etude ultrastructurale des hémocytes du coléoptére Melolontha melolontha (L). J Ultrastruct Res 34; 492–516PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Drif L, Brehélin M (1983) The circulating hemocytes of Culex pipiens and Aedes aegypti: cytology, histochemistry, hemograms and functions. Dev Comp Immunol 7: 687–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Essawy M, Maleville A, Brehélin M (1985) The haemocytes of Heliothis armigera (Lepidoptera): ultrastructure and modifications in the course of larval development. J Morphol (in press)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Goffinet G, Grégoire C (1975) Coagulocyte alterations in clotting haemolymph of Carausius morosus ( L). Arch Int Physiol Biochim 83: 702–722Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gupta AP (1979) Hemocyte types: their structures, synonymies interrelationships and taxo- nomic significance. In: Gupta AP (ed) Insect Hemocytes: Development, forms, functions and techniques. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, London, p 23Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gupta AP, Sutherland DJ (1967) Phase contrast and histological studies of spherule cells in cockroaches. Ann Entomol Soc Am 60: 557–565PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Harpaz I, Kislev N, Zelcer A (1969) Electron microscopic studies on hemocytes of the Egyp-tian cottonworm, Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval) infected with a nuclear polyhedrosis virus, as compared to noninfected hemocytes I. Noninfected hemocytes. J Invertebr Pathol 14: 175–185Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hoffmann JA, Stoeckel ME (1968) Sur les modifications ultrastructurales des coagulocytes au cours de la coagulation de l’hémolymphe chez Locusta migratoria. C R Soc Biol (Paris) 162: 2257–2259Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hoffmann JA, Stoeckel ME, Porte A, Joly P (1968) Ultrastructure des hémocytes de Locusta migratoria. C R Acad Sci (D) 266: 503–505Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kaaya GP, Ratcliffe NA (1982) Comparative study of hemocytes and associated cells of some medically important dipterans. J Morphol 173: 351–365PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Neuwirth M (1974) Granular hemocytes, the main phagocytic blood cells in Calpodes ethlius (Lepidoptera). Can J Zool 52: 783–784PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Nittono Y (1960) Studies on the blood cells in the silkworm Bombyx mori (L). Bull Seri Exp Stn 16: 261–266Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ratcliffe NA, Gagen SJ (1977) Studies on the in vivo cellular reactions of insects: an ultra- structural analysis of nodule formation in Galleria mellonella. Tissue Cell 9: 73–85PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ratcliffe NA, Price CD (1974) Correlation of light and electron microscopic haemocyte structure in the dictyoptera. J Morphol 144: 485–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ratcliffe NA, Rowley AF (1981) Insects. In: Ratcliffe NA Rowley AF (eds) Invertebrate Blood Cells. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Rizki MT (1957) Alterations in the haemocy te population of Drosophila melanogaster. J Morphol 100: 437–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rizki MT, Rizki RM (1959) Functional significance of the crystal cells in the larva oi Drosophila melanogaster. J Biophys Biochem Cytol 5: 235–239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rowley AF (1977) The role of the haemocytes of Clitumnus extradentatus in haemolymph coagulation. Cell Tissue Res 182: 513–524PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Rowley AF, Ratcliffe NA (1976a) An ultrastructural study of the in vitro phagocytosis of Escherichia coli by the haemocytes of Calliphora erythrocephala. J Ultrastruct Res 55: 193–202PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rowley AF, Ratcliffe NA (1976b) The granular cells of Galleria mellonella during clotting and phagocytic reactions in vitro. Tissue Cell 8: 437–446PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Rowley AF, Ratcliffe NA (1979) An ultrastructural and cytochemical study of interactions between latex particles and haemocytes of the wax moth Galleria mellonella. Cell Tissue Res 199: 127–137PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Schmidt AR, Ratcliffe NA (1978) The encapsulation of araldite implants and recognition of foreignness in Clitumnus extradentatus. J Insect Physiol 24: 511–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wigglesworth VB (1973) Haemocytes and basement membrane formation in Rhodnius. J Insect Physiol 19: 831–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Zachary D (1978) Evolution des cellules sanguines et de la musculature au cours de la méta-morphose chez le Diptère Calliphora erythrocephala: aspects cytologiques et neuroendocrines. Thesis, L. Pasteur University, StrasbourgGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Zachary D, Hoffmann JA (1973) The haemocytes of Calliphora erythrocephala. Z Zellforsch Mikrosk Anat 141: 55–73PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Zachary D, Brehélin M, Hoffmann JA (1975) Role of the thrombocytoids in capsule formation in the dipteran Calliphora erythrocephala. Cell Tissue Res 162: 343–348PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Brehélin
    • 1
  • D. Zachary
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Pathologie ComparéeERPAM, Université des Sciences et Techniques du LanguedocMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Biologie GénéraleUniversité Louis PasteurStrasbourgFrance

Personalised recommendations