pH control in the midgut of Aedesaegypti under different nutritional conditions

The Journal of Experimental Biology
Denise Barguil NepomucenoNelder Figueiredo Gontijo


Aedes aegypti is one of the most important disease vectors in the world. Because their gut is the first site of interaction with pathogens, it is important to understand A. aegypti gut physiology. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of pH control in the midgut of A. aegypti females under different nutritional conditions. We found that unfed females have an acidic midgut (pH ∼6). The midgut of unfed insects is actively maintained at pH 6 regardless of the ingestion of either alkaline or acidic buffered solutions. V-ATPases are responsible for acidification after ingestion of alkaline solutions. In blood-fed females, the abdominal midgut becomes alkaline (pH 7.54), and the luminal pH decreases slightly throughout blood digestion. Only ingested proteins were able to trigger this abrupt increase in abdominal pH. The ingestion of amino acids, even at high concentrations, did not induce alkalinisation. During blood digestion, the thoracic midgut remains acidic, becoming a suitable compartment for carbohydrate digestion, which is in accordance with the higher alpha-glucolytic activity detected in this compartment. Ingestion of blood releases alkalising hormones in the haemolymph, which induce alkalinisation in ex vivo prepar...Continue Reading


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