Worldwide mobile telephone and microwave use have resulted in an increasing presence of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field radiations (ELF-EMFs) in ecosystems. ELF-EMFs have been associated with altered physiological processes that can adversely affect exposed organisms. In this study, Trichoplusia ni Hübner larvae were exposed for 24, 48, or 72 h to ELF-EMFs (60 Hz and 2.0 mT) to assess effects on immune response parameters and fertility. Trichoplusia ni life cycle and fertility were not affected by 24-h exposure. However, the number of apoptotic-like cells and cellular immune response significantly increased (P < 0.01) after 72-h exposure (2- and 1.1-fold, respectively), whereas hemolymph total protein and hemocyte cells were reduced (P < 0.01; 16 and 50%, respectively) after 48-h exposure. Hemocyte cell type analysis resulted in significantly (P < 0.01) higher granulocytes number in the unexposed (2-fold increase) and oenocytoids in the 72-h-exposed larvae (28.6-fold increase). Quantitative retrotranscription (RT-qPCR) showed that after 72-h ELF-EMF exposure, the antimicrobial peptides cecropin, lysozyme, gallerimycin, and pgrp were downregulated by 24,866.0, 2.69-, 119.1-, and 1.45-fold, respectively, whereas attacin and defensin were upregulated by 1.59- and 1.85-fold, respectively. The effect of ELF-EMFs on the T. ni larvae immune response and their potential impact on its physiology and susceptibility to pathogens are discussed. This information may provide new insight of ELF-EMFs on other pest species, as well as for the preservation of ecologically important species.
Vol. 46 • No. 2
Vol. 46 • No. 2
Lepidopteran antimicrobial peptide