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J Comp Physiol B. 1987;157(5):543-9.

Neural factors that stimulate ecdysteroid synthesis by the larval ring gland of Drosophila melanogaster.

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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27514.


The larval ring gland of Drosophila melanogaster is the source of ecdysteroids responsible for larval-larval and larval-pupal molting. An extract prepared from the Drosophila larval central nervous system, that presumably contains prothoracicotropic hormone, elicits a significant and dose-dependent in vitro increase in ecdysteroid synthesis by ring glands from wandering third instar larvae. The synthesis of all three ecdysteroids previously identified as ring gland products is elevated by more than two-fold in the presence of neural extract. The maximum response occurs within 30 min and can be sustained for at least two hours after a 30 min exposure to neural extract. No non-neural tissue extracts evoke a response and most of the prothoracicotropic activity originates in the ventral ganglion. However, while extract prepared from larval brains elicits only a slight increase in ecdysteroid synthesis, it enhances the activity of a submaximal dose of ventral ganglion extract. This suggests that two or more neural factors, at least one from the brain lobes and another from the ventral ganglion, interact to stimulate ecdysteroid synthesis by the larval ring gland.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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