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Fat Body Cells Are Motile and Actively Migrate to Wounds to Drive Repair and Prevent Infection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-470.e3
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number4
Early online date26 Feb 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 29 Jan 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2018
DatePublished (current) - 26 Feb 2018


Adipocytes have many functions in various tissues beyond energy storage including regulating metabolism, growth and immunity. However, little is known about their role in wound healing. Here we use live imaging of fat body cells, the equivalent of vertebrate adipocytes in Drosophila, to investigate their potential behaviours and functions following skin wounding. We find that pupal fat body cells are not immotile, as previously presumed, but actively migrate to wounds using an unusual adhesionindependent, actomyosin-driven, peristaltic mode of motility. Once at the wound, fat body cells collaborate with hemocytes, Drosophila macrophages, to clear the wound of cell debris; they also tightly seal the epithelial wound gap and locally release antimicrobial peptides to fight wound infection. Thus, fat body cells are motile cells, enabling them to migrate to wounds to undertake several local functions needed to drive wound repair and prevent infections.

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