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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1975 Aug; 72(8): 3255–3259.
PMCID: PMC432961

The ovary as a source of alpha-ecdysone in an adult mosquito.


The ovaries of the mosquito Aedes aegypti cultured in vitro secrete material that behaves like ecdysone in a radioimmunoassay. The material was identified as alpha-ecdysone by high-resolution liquid and gas-liquid chromatography. Secretion reached a maximum 16 hr after a blood meal as shown by bioassay and direct determination. Ovariectomy reduced the concentration of ecdysone in the adult after a blood meal. Qualitative analysis of whole-body extracts indicated beta-ecdysone to be the principal species present. Thus the ovaries appear to secrete a prohormone, alpha-ecdysone, which is converted to beta-ecdysone. Beta-ecdysone plays a significant role in stimulating egg development in the adult mosquito and may have reproductive roles in other insects.

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