The antioxidant role of xanthurenic acid in the Aedes aegypti midgut during digestion of a blood meal.
In the midgut of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, a vector of dengue and yellow fever, an intense release of heme and iron takes place during the digestion of a blood meal. Here, we demonstrated via chromatography, light absorption and mass spectrometry that xanthurenic acid (XA), a product of the oxidative metabolism of tryptophan, is produced in the digestive apparatus after the ingestion of a blood meal and reaches milimolar levels after 24 h, the period of maximal digestive activity. XA formation does not occur in the White Eye (WE) strain, which lacks kynurenine hydroxylase and accumulates kynurenic acid. The formation of XA can be diminished by feeding the insect with 3,4-dimethoxy-N-[4-(3-nitrophenyl)thiazol-2-yl] benzenesulfonamide (Ro-61-8048), an inhibitor of XA biosynthesis. Moreover, XA inhibits the phospholipid oxidation induced by heme or iron. A major fraction of this antioxidant activity is due to the capacity of XA to bind both heme and iron, which occurs at a slightly alkaline pH (7.5-8.0), a condition found in the insect midgut. The midgut epithelial cells of the WE mosquito has a marked increase in occurrence of cell death, which is reversed to levels similar to the wild type mosquitoes by feeding the insects with blood supplemented with XA, confirming the protective role of this molecule. Collectively, these results suggest a new role for XA as a heme and iron chelator that provides protection as an antioxidant and may help these animals adapt to a blood feeding habit.
Instituto de Química e Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil.
SourcePloS one 7:6 2012 pg e38349
Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't