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J Chem Ecol. 1985 Mar;11(3):363-82. doi: 10.1007/BF01411423.

Studies on possible role of catecholamines in regulation of sex pheromone gland activity in American dog tick,Dermacentor veriabilis (Say).

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Department of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, 23508, Norfolk, Virginia.


Administered monoamines affected sex pheromone activity in the foveal glands of the tick,Dermacentor variabilis (Say). Flooding the tissues of the female tick with reserpine, α-methyl-m-tyrosine methyl ester hydrochloride, and pilocarpine prior to feeding led to reductions in female sex attractant activity during engorgement. Similar treatments with cyclic AMP, dopamine, serotonin, 6-hydroxydopamine, and acetylcholine had no apparent effects on the attractiveness of feeding females. Assays (by gas chromatography) demonstrated substantial reductions in 2,6-dichlorophenol content following treatment with α-methyl-m-tyrosine methyl ester, pilocarpine, and, in most cases, with reserpine. Reserpine was effective only when administered in near-lethal concentrations to unfed females. In contrast, treatment with dopamine led to elevated 2,6-dichlorophenol content in most trials. X-ray microanalysis corroborated the evidence with reserpine and dopamine. These and other findings reported elsewhere implicate monoamines, presumably catecholamines, in the regulation of sex pheromone secretion in this species. The significance of these findings for understanding the physiological mechanisms involved in the regulation of sex pheromone secretion and biosynthesis is discussed.


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