Control of oocyte maturation in sexually mature Drosophila females.
In many sexually mature insects egg production and oviposition are tightly coupled to copulation. Sex-Peptide is a 36-amino-acid peptide synthesized in the accessory glands of Drosophila melanogaster males and transferred to the female during copulation. Sex-Peptide stimulates vitellogenic oocyte progression through a putative control point at about stage 9 of oogenesis. Here we show that application of the juvenile hormone analogue methoprene mimics the Sex-Peptide-mediated stimulation of vitellogenic oocyte progression in sexually mature virgin females. Apoptosis is induced by 20-hydroxyecdysone in nurse cells of stage 9 egg chambers at physiological concentrations (10(-7) M). 20-Hydroxyecdysone thus acts as an antagonist of early vitellogenic oocyte development. Simultaneous application of juvenile hormone analogue, however, protects early vitellogenic oocytes from 20-hydroxyecdysone-induced resorption. These results suggest that the balance of these hormones in the hemolymph regulates whether oocytes will progress through the control point at stage 9 or undergo apoptosis. These data are further supported by a molecular analysis of the regulation of yolk protein synthesis and uptake into the ovary by the two hormones. We conclude that juvenile hormone is a downstream component in the Sex-Peptide response cascade and acts by stimulating vitellogenic oocyte progression and inhibiting apoptosis. Since juvenile hormone analogue does not elicit increased oviposition and reduced receptivity, Sex-Peptide must have an additional, separate effect on these two postmating responses. (+info)
A mutant Drosophila insulin receptor homolog that extends life-span and impairs neuroendocrine function.
The Drosophila melanogaster gene insulin-like receptor (InR) is homologous to mammalian insulin receptors as well as to Caenorhabditis elegans daf-2, a signal transducer regulating worm dauer formation and adult longevity. We describe a heteroallelic, hypomorphic genotype of mutant InR, which yields dwarf females with up to an 85% extension of adult longevity and dwarf males with reduced late age-specific mortality. Treatment of the long-lived InR dwarfs with a juvenile hormone analog restores life expectancy toward that of wild-type controls. We conclude that juvenile hormone deficiency, which results from InR signal pathway mutation, is sufficient to extend life-span, and that in flies, insulin-like ligands nonautonomously mediate aging through retardation of growth or activation of specific endocrine tissue. (+info)
Low exposure concentration effects of methoprene on endocrine-regulated processes in the crustacean Daphnia magna.
Methoprene is a growth-regulating insecticide that manifests its toxicity to target organisms by acting as a juvenile hormone agonist. Methoprene similarly may exert toxicity to crustaceans by mimicking or interfering with methyl farnesoate, a crustacean juvenoid. We hypothesized that methoprene interferes with endocrine-regulated processes in crustaceans by several mechanisms involving agonism or antagonism of juvenoid receptor complexes. In the present study, we evaluated this hypothesis, in part, by characterizing and comparing the concentration-response curves for methoprene and several endpoints related to development and reproduction of the crustacean Daphnia magna. Our results demonstrate that methoprene has multiple mechanisms of toxicity and low-exposure concentration effects. Methoprene reduced the growth rate of daphnids with evidence of only a single concentration-response line, having a threshold of 12.6 nM. Molt frequency was reduced by methoprene in a concentration-dependent manner, with a response curve corresponding to a 2-segmented line and thresholds at 4.2 and 0.21 nM. An endpoint related to reproductive maturation, the time of first brood deposition, was also affected by methoprene, with a clear concentration-dependent response and a NOEC of 32 nM. Methoprene reduced fecundity according to a 2-segmented line, with thresholds of 24 and < or =0.18 nM. These results demonstrate that methoprene elicits significant toxicity to endocrine-related processes in the 5-50 nM concentration range. Furthermore, molting and reproduction were impacted at significantly lower methoprene concentrations, with a distinct concentration response and a threshold of < or =0.2 nM. The different concentration-dependent response from that of methoprene could involve agonism or antagonism of various juvenoid receptor configurations. (+info)
A survey of the chromatographic analysis of natural insect juvenile hormones and the insect growth regulator, altosid.
A brief survey of gas and liquid chromatographic methods for analysis, purification and quantitation of natural insect juvenile hormones and one commercially used analoh, altosid (methoprene) insect growth regulator, includes references to the most recent literature. (+info)
Regulation of glutamine metabolism during the development of Bombyx mori larvae.
Waste ammonia is re-assimilated into amino acids via the amide group of glutamine and the amino group of glutamate (i.e. through glutamine synthetase/glutamate synthase pathway) for silk synthesis in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, in the last larval stadium. Glutamine concentration in hemolymph gradually decreased with the progress of the fifth instar and it remained at very low levels during the spinning stage, then followed by a sharp increase at the larval-pupal ecdysis. The changes in glutamine synthetase (GS) activity in silkworm tissues were relatively small through the larval development, while the changes in glutamate synthase (GOGAT) activity, especially in the posterior silk glands, were more drastic. In addition, activities of GOGAT in the tissues were much higher than those of the other enzymes involved in glutamine utilization, suggesting that glutamine pool was regulated mainly by the changes in GOGAT activity. Western blot analysis indicated that the changes in GOGAT protein level correlated with the changes in GOGAT activity. Topical application of a juvenile hormone analogue, methoprene, induced an accumulation of glutamine in the hemolymph of the fifth instar larvae. The levels of GOGAT protein and activity in the tissues of the methoprene treated larvae were much lower than those of the control larvae, whereas the methoprene treatment had no effect on the levels of GS activity. In conclusion, GOGAT expression promoted by reduction of juvenile hormone titer is quite important for enhanced utilization of nitrogen for synthesis of silk protein during the last larval instar. (+info)
A novel putative insect chitinase with multiple catalytic domains: hormonal regulation during metamorphosis.
We have used differential display to identify genes that are regulated by juvenile hormone in the epidermis of the beetle Tenebrio molitor. One of the genes encodes T. molitor chitinase 5 (TmChit5), a chitinase possessing an unusual structure. Sequence analysis of TmChit5 identified five 'chitinase units' of approx. 480 amino acids with similarity to chitinase family 18. These units are separated by less conserved regions containing putative PEST (rich in proline, glutamic acid, serine and threonine) sequences, putative chitin-binding domains and mucin domains. Northern-blot analysis identified a single transcript of approx. 9 kb, whose abundance correlated with that of 20-hydroxyecdysone during metamorphosis. Injection of pupae with 20-hydroxyecdysone alone, or in combination with cycloheximide, indicated that TmChit5 expression is directly induced by the hormone. Further experiments indicated that methoprene (a juvenile hormone analogue) indirectly induced TmChit5 mRNA expression. On the basis of the present results and previous studies, we propose a molecular mechanism for cuticle digestion during the moulting process. (+info)
Neuroendocrine control of a sexually dimorphic behavior by a few neurons of the pars intercerebralis in Drosophila.
In Drosophila, locomotor activity is sexually dimorphic and the brain area controlling this dimorphism has been mapped. The neurons of the pars intercerebralis (PI) have been suggested to participate in such differences between males and females. However, the precise physical nature of the dimorphism, the identity of the PI neurons involved, and the nature of the neuronal signal coding the dimorphism remain unknown. In this study, we used a video-tracking paradigm to characterize further the pattern of locomotor activity in Drosophila. We show that the number of activity/inactivity periods (start/stop bouts) is also sexually dimorphic, and that it can be genetically feminized in males. Moreover, the transplantation of PI neurons from a female, or of feminized PI neurons from a donor male into a receiver wild-type male is sufficient to induce the feminization of locomotor behavior, confirming that this tiny cluster of approximately 10 neurons is directly responsible for the sexual dimorphism in locomotor activity. Finally, feeding males with fluvastatin, a juvenile hormone (JH) inhibitor, also led to start/stop feminization, and this effect is reversible by the simultaneous application of methoprene, a JH analog, suggesting the existence of a neuroendocrine control, by JH, of such behavioral dimorphism. (+info)
Ethyl 4-[2-(6-Methyl-3-pyridyloxy)butyloxy]benzoate, a novel anti-juvenile hormone agent.
Ethyl 4-[2-(6-methyl-3-pyridyloxy)butyloxy]benzoate (2) was prepared as a novel anti-juvenile hormone (anti-JH) agent. Compound 2 induced precocious metamorphosis in larvae of the silkworm and black pigmentation of the larval cuticle, which are clearly recognized as JH-deficiency symptoms. The 4-ethoxycarbonyl group on the benzene ring was indispensable for activity. The activity of compound 2 could be fully counteracted by methoprene, a JH agonist, but not by the dietary administration of 20-hydroxyecdysone. (+info)