RNAi-mediated Gene Knockdown and In Vivo Diuresis Assay in Adult Female Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes

Biology Department, New Mexico State University, USA.
Journal of Visualized Experiments (Impact Factor: 1.33). 07/2012; 65(65):e3479. DOI: 10.3791/3479
Source: PubMed


This video protocol demonstrates an effective technique to knockdown a particular gene in an insect and conduct a novel bioassay to measure excretion rate. This method can be used to obtain a better understanding of the process of diuresis in insects and is especially useful in the study of diuresis in blood-feeding arthropods that are able to take up huge amounts of liquid in a single blood meal. This RNAi-mediated gene knockdown combined with an in vivo diuresis assay was developed by the Hansen lab to study the effects of RNAi-mediated knockdown of aquaporin genes on Aedes aegypti mosquito diuresis. The protocol is setup in two parts: the first demonstration illustrates how to construct a simple mosquito injection device and how to prepare and inject dsRNA into the thorax of mosquitoes for RNAi-mediated gene knockdown. The second demonstration illustrates how to determine excretion rates in mosquitoes using an in vivo bioassay.

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    • "For example, mosquito anesthesia is needed to record certain physiological process, to collect tissue samples, and to perform organismal manipulations such as injections. The gold standard for mosquito immobilization is cold-induced anesthesia [1–3], although mosquitoes are also frequently anesthetized by exposure to CO2 [4,5]. Both of these methods, while effective, have their limitations. "
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    ABSTRACT: FlyNap (triethylamine) is commonly used to anesthetize Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. The purpose of this study was to determine whether triethylamine is a suitable anesthetic agent for research into circulatory physiology and immune competence in the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae). Recovery experiments showed that mosquitoes awaken from traditional cold anesthesia in less than 7 minutes, but that recovery from FlyNap anesthesia does not begin for several hours. Relative to cold anesthesia, moderate exposures to FlyNap induce an increase in the heart rate, a decrease in the percentage of the time the heart contracts in the anterograde direction, and a decrease in the frequency of heartbeat directional reversals. Experiments employing various combinations of cold and FlyNap anesthesia then showed that cold exposure does not affect basal heart physiology, and that the differences seen between the cold and the FlyNap groups are due to a FlyNap-induced alteration of heart physiology. Furthermore, exposure to FlyNap eliminated the cardioacceleratory effect of crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP), and reduced a mosquito's ability to survive a bacterial infection. Together, these data show that FlyNap is not a suitable substitute to cold anesthesia in experiments assessing mosquito heart function or immune competence. Moreover, these data also illustrate the intricate biology of the insect heart. Specifically, they confirm that the neurohormone CCAP modulates heart rhythms and that it serves as an anterograde pacemaker.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporins (AQPs) are proteins that span plasma membranes allowing the movement of water and small solutes into or out of cells. The type, expression levels and activity of AQPs play a major role in the relative permeability of each cell to water or other solutes. Research on arthropod AQPs has expanded in the last 10 years due to the completion of several arthropod genome projects and the increased availability of genetic information accessible through other resources such as de novo transcriptome assemblies. In particular, there has been significant advancement in elucidating the roles that AQPs serve in relation to the physiology of blood-feeding arthropods of medical importance. The focus of this review is upon the significance of AQPs in relation to hematophagy in arthropods. This will be accomplished via a narrative describing AQP functions during the life history of hematophagic arthropods that includes the following critical phases: (1) Saliva production necessary to blood feeding, (2) Intake and excretion of water during blood digestion, (3) Reproduction and egg development and (4) Off-host environmental stress tolerance. The concentration on these phases will highlight known vulnerabilities in the biology of hematophagic arthropods that could be used to develop novel control strategies as well as research topics that have yet to be examined.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Comparative Physiology B
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    ABSTRACT: After taking vertebrate blood, female mosquitoes quickly shed excess water and ions while retaining and concentrating the mostly proteinaceous nutrients. Aquaporins (AQPs) are an evolutionary conserved family of membrane transporter proteins that regulate the flow of water and in some cases glycerol and other small molecules across cellular membranes. In a previous study, we found six putative AQP genes in the genome of the yellow fever mosquito, Ae. aegypti, and demonstrated the involvement of three of them in the blood meal-induced diuresis. Here we characterized AQP expression in different tissues before and after a blood meal, explored the substrate specificity of AQPs expressed in the Malpighian tubules and performed RNAi-mediated knockdown and tested for changes in mosquito desiccation resistance. We found that AQPs are generally down-regulated 24 hrs after a blood meal. Ae. aegypti AQP 1 strictly transports water, AQP 2 and 5 demonstrate limited solute transport, but primarily function as water transporters. AQP 4 is an aquaglyceroporin with multiple substrates. Knockdown of AQPs expressed in the MTs increased survival of Ae. aegypti under dry conditions. We conclude that Malpighian tubules of adult female yellow fever mosquitoes utilize three distinct AQPs and one aquaglyceroporin in their osmoregulatory functions.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Scientific Reports
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