Age Dependent Ultrastructural Changes in Insect Tissues

As mentioned above, adult insects are composed of nondividing (postmitotic) cells. Tissue degeneration with advancing age resembles that of brain and other postmitotic tissues in mammals. The observed changes in dipterans like Drosophila or Musca, however, are not uniform, ranging from ''total degeneration'' to ''poorly developed changes.'' We use Panorpa as a model organism not only for comparative reasons but also because, as said above, this insect shows senescent tissue degeneration even under free-living conditions (Collatz and Collatz, 1981). Figure 21.3 shows an example of tissue degeneration in senescent Panorpa. It should be possible in such an organism to demonstrate protective effects of various drugs (e.g., antioxidants) on tissue degeneration.

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