The fat body is the intermediary metabolism organ of insects and the main source of hemolymph components. In the current study, the microanatomy of Aedes aegypti (L., 1762) fat body was studied through scanning electron microscopy to observe the effects of blood feeding and aging. Three groups of female mosquitoes were used: newly emerged females, 18-d-old sugar-fed females, and 18-d-old blood-fed females. In Ae. aegypti, the fat body is located beneath the integument, and it is subdivided into dorsal, ventral, and lateral lobes, with the latter two being larger than the dorsal lobes. The lobes projected into the body cavity, and they were covered externally by a basal lamina with rounded cells beneath it. In 18-d-old sugar-fed females, the ventral and dorsal fat bodies seemed more developed than in newly emerged mosquitoes. The fat body hypertrophy caused by aging in the sugar-fed mosquito was probably associated with lipid accumulation due to the sugar diet. The blood-fed 18-d-old mosquitoes showed flattened fat bodies in all locations. The fat body modifications after the blood ingestion may be associated with midgut expansion after blood feeding, followed by ovary hypertrophy that mechanically compresses the fat body against the body wall. The structural changes in the fat body after a bloodmeal may be important for midgut extension to maximize blood storage and subsequent ovary enlargement, leading to the organ’s reorganization in the body cavity. In addition, the depletion of fat body content during vitellogenesis could be responsible for the shrinking and flattening of the fat body lobes.
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Vol. 45 • No. 6