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Fluorescent brightener inhibits apoptosis in baculovirus-infected gypsy moth larval midgut cells in vitro

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Fluorescent brighteners significantly lower the LC 50 and LT 50 in a variety of nucleopolyhedrovirus–insect host systems. In larvae of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.), a European NPV strain of virus (LdMNPV) does not normally replicate in the midgut, but addition of a fluorescent brightener (Calcofluor M2R) to the virus suspension results in productive infections. In the current study, we show that LdMNPV also does not replicate in a larval midgut primary cell culture system unless a fluorescent brightener (Blankophor P167) is added. Morphological and cellular changes characteristic of apoptotic cell death were noted in infected midgut cells in vitro . We used the TUNEL assay to measure apoptosis in virus-challenged midgut cell cultures at 24–48 h post-inoculation. A significant decrease in apoptotic midgut cells was noted in the presence of 0.01 M brightener. The inhibition of apoptosis and presumptive inhibition of shedding of infected midgut cells in the presence of fluorescent brightener in the insect midgut appeared to promote virus replication and are likely to be partly responsible for enhancement of LdMNPV activity that is observed in gypsy moth larvae.
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Keywords: Blankophor P167; Lymantria dispar; Nucleopolyhedrovirus; apoptosis; cell cultures; fluorescent brightener

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: USDA/ARS Insect Biocontrol Laboratory, 20705-2350, Beltsville, MD, USA

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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