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    Heavy metal exposure-triggered growth retardation and physiology disorder in phytophagous insects have been widely understood, but only a few studies have investigated its immunomodulatory effects on herbivorous insects. Here, the innate immunity of gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) larvae under Cd stress was evaluated by integrating cellular and humoral immunity, and the immunomodulation mechanism of Cd stress was further understood by the proteomics analysis of larval hemolymph. Our results showed that the total hemocyte count, as well as phagocytic, encapsulation and bacteriostatic activity, of hemolymph in gypsy moth larvae exposed to Cd stress was significantly lower than that in un-treated larvae. Further proteomic analysis revealed that Cd exposure may reduce the total hemocyte count in larval hemolymph by inducing endoplasmic reticulum pathway-mediated hemocyte apoptosis, thereby causing the collapse of cellular immunity in gypsy moth larvae. In addition, the transcriptional level of signal transduction genes (IMD, Toll, Relish, JAK and STAT) and antimicrobial peptide genes (cecropin and lebocin), as well as the protein abundance of pattern recognition receptors (PGRP and GNBP3) in the Toll, IMD and JAK/STAT signaling pathways was significantly decreased in Cd-treated larvae, clearly implying an immunosuppresive effect of Cd stress on pathogen recognition, signal transduction and effector synthesis of humoral immunity in gypsy moth larvae. Taken together, these results suggest that Cd exposure decreases both cellular immunity and humoral immunity of gypsy moth larvae, and provides a new entry point for systematically and comprehensively unraveling the heavy metal pollutants-caused immunotoxicity. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Hongfei Wu, Mingtao Tan, Yaning Li, Lin Zheng, Jinsheng Xu, Dun Jiang. The immunotoxicity of Cd exposure to gypsy moth larvae: An integrated analysis of cellular immunity and humoral immunity. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. 2022 Apr 15;235:113434

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    PMID: 35338967

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