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Mech Dev. 2006 Jul;123(7):530-47. Epub 2006 May 25.

Mechanisms of midgut remodeling: juvenile hormone analog methoprene blocks midgut metamorphosis by modulating ecdysone action.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA.


In holometabolous insects such as mosquito, Aedes aegypti, midgut undergoes remodeling during metamorphosis. Insect metamorphosis is regulated by several hormones including juvenile hormone (JH) and 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). The cellular and molecular events that occur during midgut remodeling were investigated by studying nuclear stained whole mounts and cross-sections of midguts and by monitoring the mRNA levels of genes involved in 20E action in methoprene-treated and untreated Ae. aegypti. We used JH analog, methoprene, to mimic JH action. In Ae. aegypti larvae, the programmed cell death (PCD) of larval midgut cells and the proliferation and differentiation of imaginal cells were initiated at about 36h after ecdysis to the 4th instar larval stage (AEFL) and were completed by 12h after ecdysis to the pupal stage (AEPS). In methoprene-treated larvae, the proliferation and differentiation of imaginal cells was initiated at 36h AEFL, but the PCD was initiated only after ecdysis to the pupal stage. However, the terminal events that occur for completion of PCD during pupal stage were blocked. As a result, the pupae developed from methoprene-treated larvae contained two midgut epithelial layers until they died during the pupal stage. Quantitative PCR analyses showed that methoprene affected midgut remodeling by modulating the expression of ecdysone receptor B, ultraspiracle A, broad complex, E93, ftz-f1, dronc and drice, the genes that are shown to play key roles in 20E action and PCD. Thus, JH analog, methoprene acts on Ae. aegypti by interfering with the expression of genes involved in 20E action resulting in a block in midgut remodeling and death during pupal stage.

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