Comparative structural analyses of the heart and associated tissues in 4th instar larvae (L4), pupae and adults of Aedes aegypti were undertaken using a combination of microscopy techniques. The Ae. aegypti heart consists of cardiomyocytes arranged in a helical fashion, and it is physically associated with intersegmental groups of pericardial cells (PCs) and the alary muscles (AMs). Ramifications commonly present in AMs are more developed in adults than in the immature stages. Pericardial cells absorb and store extracellular components as shown by the uptake of carmine dye fed in larval diet. We also observed that carmine stained inclusions corresponding to electron-dense structures resembling lysosomes that were more abundant and prominent in pupae, suggestive of increase of waste accumulation during pupation. The results presented here expand on previously known aspects of the mosquito heart and describe for the first time comparative aspects of the morphology of the heart in different developmental stages.
Keywords: Aedes aegypti; Alary muscles; Cardiomyocytes; Heart; Mosquito; Pericardial cells.
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