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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Aug;37(8):876-85. Epub 2007 Apr 14.

Prostaglandin signaling and ovarian follicle development in the silkmoth, Bombyx mori.

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  • 1Laboratório de Entomologia Médica do Programa de Parasitologia e Biologia Celular, IBCCF, CCS, UFRJ, Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão 21941-590, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


Previous work on in vitro culturing of silkmoth (Bombyx mori) ovarian follicles has shown that starting from middle vitellogenesis, follicles develop according to an endogenous developmental program that does not require the presence of extra-ovarian factors. In this paper, we are reporting on our investigation for a possible involvement of autocrine/paracrine signaling by prostaglandins in the control of silkmoth ovarian follicle development. Using an initial rapid test that evaluates the formation of a protective eggshell around the oocyte, we are showing that aspirin and indomethacin, potent inhibitors of prostaglandin biosynthesis, block the transition of cultured vitellogenic follicles into choriogenesis. More detailed studies involving analyses of temporal expression patterns of genes known to be expressed in follicular epithelium cells at specific stages of ovarian development revealed that inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis arrests stages of follicle development from middle vitellogenesis to late choriogenesis. The arrest could be reversed by the addition of exogenous prostaglandins or cAMP into the culture media leading to the conclusion that the production of prostaglandins triggers cAMP-mediated intracellular signaling that allows the developmental progression of the follicles. Finally, because neither prostaglandins nor cAMP is capable of rescuing a developmental block effected at mid-vitellogenesis by the ecdysone agonist tebufenozide, we are proposing that prostaglandins have a role in the maintenance of normal physiological homeostasis in the ovarian follicles rather than a more specific role in developmental decision-making at distinct stages of follicle development.

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