Silkworm (Bombyx mori) hemocytes do not produce reactive oxygen metabolites as a part of defense mechanisms
To investigate whether hemocytes of Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera) larvae produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as part of the oxidative killing of invading pathogens, the production of ROS was measured as a luminol- and lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence of unstimulated or stimulated (zymosan particles, phorbol myristate acetate, calcium ionophore, rice starch or Xenorhabdus nematophila) hemolymph. No detectable ROS production was found. The spontaneous and activated ROS production measured with hemocytes, i.e. under the conditions when the antioxidative potential of hemolymph plasma was eliminated, was again undetectable. Likewise, ROS production by isolated hemocytes was observed by spectrophotometric (NBT test, cytochrome c assay) and fluorimetric (using dihydrorhodamine and hydroethidine probes) methods. Hence none of the experimental approaches used indicated the production of ROS by hemocytes of B. mori larvae as part of their immune response.