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Dev Cell. 2007 Dec;13(6):857-71.

Prothoracicotropic hormone regulates developmental timing and body size in Drosophila.

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  • 1The Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.

Abstract

In insects, control of body size is intimately linked to nutritional quality as well as environmental and genetic cues that regulate the timing of developmental transitions. Prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) has been proposed to play an essential role in regulating the production and/or release of ecdysone, a steroid hormone that stimulates molting and metamorphosis. In this report, we examine the consequences on Drosophila development of ablating the PTTH-producing neurons. Surprisingly, PTTH production is not essential for molting or metamorphosis. Instead, loss of PTTH results in delayed larval development and eclosion of larger flies with more cells. Prolonged feeding, without changing the rate of growth, causes the overgrowth and is a consequence of low ecdysteroid titers. These results indicate that final body size in insects is determined by a balance between growth-rate regulators such as insulin and developmental timing cues such as PTTH that set the duration of the feeding interval.

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