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Drinking a hot blood meal elicits a protective heat shock response in mosquitoes

By Joshua B. Benoit, Giancarlo Lopez-Martinez, Kevin R. Patrick, Zachary P. Phillips, Tyler B. Krause and David L. Denlinger

Abstract

The mosquito's body temperature increases dramatically when it takes a blood meal from a warm-blooded, vertebrate host. By using the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, we demonstrate that this boost in temperature following a blood meal prompts the synthesis of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70). This response, elicited by the temperature of the blood meal, is most robust in the mosquito's midgut. When RNA interference is used to suppress expression of hsp70, protein digestion of the blood meal is impaired, leading to production of fewer eggs. We propose that Hsp70 protects the mosquito midgut from the temperature stress incurred by drinking a hot blood meal. Similar increases in hsp70 were documented immediately after blood feeding in two other mosquitoes (Culex pipiens and Anopheles gambiae) and the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, suggesting that this is a common protective response in blood-feeding arthropods

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3093486
Provided by: PubMed Central
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