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Ultrastructural cytochemistry of the sex pheromone glands of Lutzomyia cruzi male sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae)


Ultrastructural cytochemistry of the sex pheromone glands of Lutzomyia cruzi male sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae)



Arthropod Structure and Development 33(4): 399-404



ISSN/ISBN: 1467-8039

PMID: 18089046

DOI: 10.1016/j.asd.2004.02.002

The sex pheromone glands of Lutzomyia cruzi male sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) were analyzed by cytochemical techniques. In adult males, the epithelium at the fourth abdominal tergite is modified into a glandular epithelium, with large columnar gland cells located side by side. The gland cell cytoplasm contains a large number of mitochondria and peroxisomes, the latter with positive (electron-dense) reaction for catalase, a typical peroxisomal enzyme marker. The gland cell cytoplasm also contains a central vacuolated area, with a large number of electron-lucent vacuoles, not limited by a unit membrane. In well-preserved preparations such vacuoles present a homogenous and slightly electron-dense content, typical of lipid droplets. Indeed, incubation of the tergites with imidazole-buffered osmium tetroxide (to detect lipids) resulted in positive reaction in these vacuoles, as well as in between the microvilli of the gland cells. Use of the osmium-potassium iodide (Os-KI) technique allowed to demonstrate the presence of several endoplasmic reticulum (ER) profiles, as expected in secretory cells. Our data suggest that ER, lipid droplets and peroxisomes are involved in the sand fly pheromone biosynthesis.

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Accession: 004375373

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