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Open AccessCommunication

A Blood Meal Enhances Innexin mRNA Expression in the Midgut, Malpighian Tubules, and Ovaries of the Yellow Fever Mosquito Aedes aegypti

Department of Entomology, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Walter J. Tabachnick
Insects 2017, 8(4), 122;
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
Mosquitoes are vectors of pathogens that cause diseases of medical and veterinary importance. Female mosquitoes transmit these pathogens while taking a blood meal, which most species require to produce eggs. The period after a blood meal is a time of extreme physiological change that requires rapid coordination of specific tissues. Gap junctions (GJ) are intercellular channels that aid in the coordination of cells within tissues via the direct transfer of certain small molecules and ions between cells. Evolutionarily distinct groups of proteins form the gap junctions of vertebrate and invertebrate animals (connexins and innexins, respectively). Aedes aegypti mosquitoes possess six genes encoding innexins: inx1, inx2, inx3, inx4, inx7, and inx8. The goal of this study was to identify potential roles of innexins in the physiology of mosquitoes after a blood meal by using qPCR to quantify their mRNA expression in adult females at 3 h and 24 h post-blood meal (PBM) relative to non-blood-fed controls. We found that at 24 h PBM, expression levels of inx2, inx3, and inx4 mRNAs increased; inx2 was the most highly upregulated innexin in key tissues associated with blood-meal digestion and egg production (i.e., the midgut and ovaries, respectively). However, knocking down inx2 mRNA levels by over 75% via RNA interference had no significant effect on fecundity. Altogether, our results suggest that a blood meal influences the molecular expression of innexins in mosquitoes, but their specific physiological roles remain to be elucidated. View Full-Text
Keywords: innexin; Aedes aegypti; qPCR; RNAi; blood feeding innexin; Aedes aegypti; qPCR; RNAi; blood feeding
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Calkins, T.L.; Piermarini, P.M. A Blood Meal Enhances Innexin mRNA Expression in the Midgut, Malpighian Tubules, and Ovaries of the Yellow Fever Mosquito Aedes aegypti. Insects 2017, 8, 122.

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