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Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2009 Mar;70(3):162-76. doi: 10.1002/arch.20286.

Octopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine mediate hemocytic phagocytosis and nodule formation via eicosanoids in the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua.

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Department of Bioresource Sciences, Andong National University, Andong 760-749, Korea.


Octopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) have been known to mediate cellular immune responses, such as hemocytic phagocytosis and nodule formation, during bacterial invasion in some insects. In addition, eicosanoids also mediate these cellular immune reactions in various insects, resulting in clearing the bacteria circulating in the hemolymph. This study investigated a hypothesis on signal cross-talk between both types of immune mediators in the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, which had been observed in the effect of eicosanoids on mediating the cellular immune responses. In response to bacterial infection, octopamine or 5-HT markedly enhanced both hemocytic phagocytosis and nodule formation in S. exigua larvae. Their specific antagonists, phentolamine (an octopamine antagonist) or ketanserin (a 5-HT antagonist) suppressed both cellular immune responses of S. exigua. These effects of biogenic monoamines on the immune mediation were expressed through eicosanoids because the inhibitory effects of both antagonists were rescued by the addition of arachidonic acid (a precursor of eicosanoid biosynthesis). Furthermore, the stimulatory effects of both monoamines on the cellular immune responses were significantly suppressed by different inhibitors acting at their specific levels of eicosanoid biosynthesis. Taken together, this study suggests that octopamine and 5-HT can mediate hemocytic phagocytosis and nodule formation through a downstream signal pathway relayed by eicosanoids in S. exigua.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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