Drosophila hematopoiesis under normal conditions and in response to immune stress

FEBS Lett. 2016 Nov;590(22):4034-4051. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.12327. Epub 2016 Aug 6.


The emergence of hematopoietic progenitors and their differentiation into various highly specialized blood cell types constitute a finely tuned process. Unveiling the genetic cascades that control blood cell progenitor fate and understanding how they are modulated in response to environmental changes are two major challenges in the field of hematopoiesis. In the last 20 years, many studies have established important functional analogies between blood cell development in vertebrates and in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Thereby, Drosophila has emerged as a powerful genetic model for studying mechanisms that control hematopoiesis during normal development or in pathological situations. Moreover, recent advances in Drosophila have highlighted how intricate cell communication networks and microenvironmental cues regulate blood cell homeostasis. They have also revealed the striking plasticity of Drosophila mature blood cells and the presence of different sites of hematopoiesis in the larva. This review provides an overview of Drosophila hematopoiesis during development and summarizes our current knowledge on the molecular processes controlling larval hematopoiesis, both under normal conditions and in response to an immune challenge, such as wasp parasitism.

Keywords: Drosophila; hematopoiesis; immune response; parasitism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Cells / cytology*
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cellular Microenvironment / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Hematopoiesis / genetics*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells*
  • Humans
  • Larva / genetics
  • Larva / growth & development