Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Immunity | Immunology of Infectious Disease
BACKGROUND: Drosophila is a powerful model for the study of factors modulating innate immunity. This study examines the effect of water-loss dehydration on innate immune responsiveness in the Drosophila renal system (Malpighian tubules; MTs), and how this leads to elevated host defense and contributes to immunosenescence.
RESULTS: A short period of desiccation-elevated peptidoglycan recognition protein-LC (PGRP-LC) expression in MTs, increased antimicrobial peptide (AMP) gene induction, and protected animals from bacterial infection. We show that desiccation increased ecdysone synthesis in MTs, while inhibition of ecdysone synthesis or ecdysone receptor expression, specifically within MTs, prevented induction of PGRP-LC and reduced protection from bacterial infection. Additionally, aged flies are constitutively water-stressed and have elevated levels of ecdysone and PGRP-LC. Conversely, adults aged at high relative humidity show less water loss and have reduced expression of PGRP-LC and AMPs.
CONCLUSIONS: The Drosophila renal system is an important contributor to host defense and can modulate immune responses in an organ autonomous manner, responding to environmental changes such as desiccation. Desiccation primes immune responsiveness by elevating PGRP-LC expression specifically in MTs. In response to desiccation, ecdysone is produced in MTs and acts in a paracrine fashion to increase PGRP-LC expression, immune responsiveness, and improve host defense. This activity of the renal system may contribute to the immunosenescence observed in Drosophila.
Drosophila Malpighian tubules, desiccation, ecdysone, immunosenescence, innate immune aging
Rights and Permissions
Copyright © Silverman et al. 2018. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI of Published Version
Zheng W, Rus F, Hernandez A, Kang P, Goldman W, Silverman N, Tatar M. Dehydration triggers ecdysone-mediated recognition-protein priming and elevated anti-bacterial immune responses in Drosophila Malpighian tubule renal cells. BMC Biol. 2018 May 31;16(1):60. doi: 10.1186/s12915-018-0532-5. PMID: 29855367; PMCID: PMC5984326. Link to article on publisher's site
Zheng W, Rus F, Hernandez A, Kang P, Goldman W, Silverman NS, Tatar M. (2018). Dehydration triggers ecdysone-mediated recognition-protein priming and elevated anti-bacterial immune responses in Drosophila Malpighian tubule renal cells. Open Access Articles. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-018-0532-5. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/oapubs/4316
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.