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  • Azadirachtin interferes with basal immunity and microbial homeostasis in the Rhodnius prolixus midgut.

Azadirachtin interferes with basal immunity and microbial homeostasis in the Rhodnius prolixus midgut.

Developmental and comparative immunology (2020-09-13)
Cecilia Stahl Vieira, Marcela Barbosa Figueiredo, Caroline da Silva Moraes, Suelen Bastos Pereira, Paul Dyson, Cícero Brasileiro Mello, Daniele Pereira Castro, Patrícia Azambuja

Rhodnius prolixus is an insect vector of two flagellate parasites, Trypanosoma rangeli and Trypanosoma cruzi, the latter being the causative agent of Chagas disease in Latin America. The R. prolixus neuroendocrine system regulates the synthesis of the steroid hormone ecdysone, which is essential for not only development and molting but also insect immunity. Knowledge for how this modulates R. prolixus midgut immune responses is essential for understanding interactions between the vector, its parasites and symbiotic microbes. In the present work, we evaluated the effects of ecdysone inhibition on R. prolixus humoral immunity and homeostasis with its microbiota, using the triterpenoid natural product, azadirachtin. Our results demonstrated that azadirachtin promoted a fast and lasting inhibitory effect on expression of both RpRelish, a nuclear factor kappa B transcription factor (NF-kB) component of the IMD pathway, and several antimicrobial peptide (AMP) genes. On the other hand, RpDorsal, encoding the equivalent NF-kB transcription factor in the Toll pathway, and the defC AMP gene were upregulated later in azadirachtin treated insects. The treatment also impacted on proliferation of Serratia marcescens, an abundant commensal bacterium. The simultaneous administration of ecdysone and azadirachtin in R. prolixus blood meals counteracted the azadirachtin effects on insect molting and also on expression of RpRelish and AMPs genes. These results support the direct involvement of ecdysone in regulation of the IMD pathway in the Rhodnius prolixus gut.

Product Number
Product Description

Azadirachtin, ~95%
α-Ecdysone, ≥90%