Active hematopoietic hubs in Drosophila adults generate hemocytes and contribute to immune response

Dev Cell. 2015 May 26;33(4):478-88. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.03.014. Epub 2015 May 7.


Blood cell development in Drosophila shares significant similarities with vertebrate. The conservation ranges from biphasic mode of hematopoiesis to signaling molecules crucial for progenitor cell formation, maintenance, and differentiation. Primitive hematopoiesis in Drosophila ensues in embryonic head mesoderm, whereas definitive hematopoiesis happens in larval hematopoietic organ, the lymph gland. This organ, with the onset of pupation, ruptures to release hemocytes into circulation. It is believed that the adult lacks a hematopoietic organ and survives on the contribution of both embryonic and larval hematopoiesis. However, our studies revealed a surge of blood cell development in the dorsal abdominal hemocyte clusters of adult fly. These active hematopoietic hubs are capable of blood cell specification and can respond to bacterial challenges. The presence of progenitors and differentiated hemocytes embedded in a functional network of Laminin A and Pericardin within this hematopoietic hub projects it as a simple version of the vertebrate bone marrow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen Type IV / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / immunology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology*
  • Hemocytes / cytology
  • Hemocytes / physiology*
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology*
  • Laminin / metabolism
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Larva / immunology*
  • Larva / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Collagen Type IV
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Laminin
  • Prc protein, Drosophila
  • laminin A