Drosophila melanogaster has been extensively used to study the humoral arm of innate immunity because of the developmental and functional parallels with mammalian innate immunity. However, the fly cellular response to infection is far less understood. Investigative work on Drosophila haemocytes, the immunosurveillance cells of the insect, has revealed that they fulfil roles similar to mammalian monocytes and macrophages. They respond to wound signals and orchestrate the coagulation response. In addition, they phagocytose and encapsulate invading pathogens, and clear up apoptotic bodies controlling inflammation. This review briefly describes the Drosophila haematopoietic system and discusses what is currently known about the contribution of haemocytes to the immune response upon infection and wounding, during all stages of development.
- Blood Cells/immunology
- Immunity, Innate/immunology