In the body of multicellular organisms, macrophages play an indispensable role in maintaining tissue homeostasis by removing old, apoptotic and damaged cells. In addition, macrophages allow significant remodeling of body plans during embryonic morphogenesis, regeneration and metamorphosis. Although the huge amount of organic matter that must be removed during these processes represents a potential source of nutrients, their further use by the organism has not yet been addressed. Here, we document that, during metamorphosis, Drosophila larval adipose tissue is infiltrated by macrophages, which remove dying adipocytes by efferocytosis and engulf leaking RNA-protein granules and lipids. Consequently, the infiltrating macrophages transiently adopt the adipocyte-like metabolic profile to convert remnants of dying adipocytes to lipoproteins and storage peptides that nutritionally support post-metamorphic development. This process is fundamental for the full maturation of ovaries and the achievement of early fecundity of individuals. Whether macrophages play an analogous role in other situations of apoptotic cell removal remains to be elucidated.

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