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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1996 Jul 1;120(2):99-105.

A deficiency in prothoracicotropic hormone transduction pathway during the early last larval instar of Bombyx mori.

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Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


The prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) is an insect cerebral peptide that stimulates the prothoracic glands to produce ecdysteroids that initiate moulting and metamorphosis. During the last larval instar of holometabolous insects, a reduction in the hemolymph juvenile hormone (JH) levels is a necessary step in initiating larval-pupal transformation. Recently we have demonstrated that very low ecdysteroid levels in the early last larval instar of Bombyx mori initiate the complete inactivation of corpora allata (CA). Results presented here further indicate that PTTH signal transduction pathways undergo specific developmental changes, with a deficiency in transduction in prothoracic gland cells occurring during the early last instar. Glands from the early last instar showed no increase in either cAMP levels or steroidogenesis to the stimulation of PTTH, indicating the absence of the PTTH receptors in gland cells. We propose that this absence of PTTH receptors plays a critical role in directing larval-pupal transformation.

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