The Role of Salivary and Intestinal Complement System Inhibitors in the Midgut Protection of Triatomines and Mosquitoes
Saliva of haematophagous arthropods contain biomolecules involved directly or indirectly with the haematophagy process, and among them are encountered some complement system inhibitors. The most obvious function for these inhibitors would be the protection of the midgut against injury by the complement. To investigate this hypothesis, Triatoma brasiliensis nymphs were forced to ingest human serum in conditions in which the protection of midgut by the inhibitors is bypassed. In these conditions, the anterior midgut epithelium was injured by the complement, causing cell death. Once some insects such as Aedes aegypti have no salivary inhibitors, we hypothesized the existence of intestinal inhibitors. The inhibitory activity was investigated in the intestine of A. aegypti as well as in the saliva and intestine of other three triatomine species (T. brasiliensis, T. infestans and Rhodnius prolixus) using an immunological method able to determine the level of deposition of some complement factors (C1q, C3b, or C4b) on the surface of complement activator molecules linked to microplates. This methodology permitted to identify which points along the activation phase of the complement cascade were inhibited. As expected, soluble contents of A. aegypti‘s intestine was capable to inhibit C3b deposition by the classical and alternative pathways. Saliva or soluble intestinal contents, obtained from triatomines were unable to inhibit C1q deposition by the classical pathway. C4b deposition by the classical pathway was inhibited by the intestinal contents from the three triatomines. On the other hand, only T. brasiliensis saliva inhibited C4b deposition. Both, saliva and intestinal contents from all triatomines were able to inhibit C3b deposition in the classical and alternative pathways. None of the material extracted from the intestinal cell membranes from the triatomines inhibited C3b deposition in the classical pathway. The existence of complement inhibitors may have important biological consequences which are discussed in detail.
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Syndicated from:PLoS ONE
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