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Cell Tissue Res. 2000 Jun;300(3):459-64.

Distribution of growth-blocking peptide in the insect central nervous tissue.

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Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


Parasitization of the armyworm Pseudaletia separata by the endoparasitic wasp Cotesia kariyai inhibits larval growth and delays pupation, conditions necessary for proper maturation of the parasite larvae. Parasitization is correlated with an elevated level of a 25-amino-acid hormone-like peptide, growth-blocking peptide (GBP, ENFSGGCVAGYMRTPDGRCKPTFYQ). Injection of synthetic GBP into nonparasitized larvae dose dependently mimics the effects of parasitization by delaying the larval development. Here we studied the relationship between parasitization and both the production and distribution of GBP in central nervous tissues. We found that parasitization is correlated with an elevated expression of GBP mRNA, and increased concentrations of both proGBP and GBP in the host insect brain and subesophageal ganglion. The increase in proGBP precedes that of the mature GBP by about 12 h. In situ hybridization analysis using sections of parasitized and nonparasitized larval brains showed strong expression of GBP mRNA in perineural cells and/or class I neuroglia in the rind of both larval brains. The expression in parasitized larval brain-subesophageal ganglion is approximately two- to threefold higher than that in nonparasitized larvae. The presence of GBP in insect neural tissue, and its role in inhibiting growth, suggest an involvement in the regulation of neurosecretory cells.

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