Immunocytochemical localization of testis ecdysiotropin in the pupa of the gypsy moth,Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae)
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Antiserum against testis ecdysiotropin isolated from the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, reacted with neurons in the protocerebrum, optic and antennal lobes, subesophageal, thoracic and abdominal ganglia, as well as in nerve tracts extending through the optic lobes, tritocerebrum, and interganglionic connectives of the pupal stage of these insects. Testis ecdysiotropin is a peptide required by immature moths to initiate production of testes ecdysteroid, which is necessary for the development of the male reproductive system and initiation of spermatogenesis. Antiserum against testis ecdysiotropin also detected an accumulation of testis ecdysiotripic-like material between the inner and outer testis sheaths of pupae. The localization of this peptide in the imaginal disks of the last larval stage, cells and nerve fibers in the optic and antennal lobes of the pupa of both sexes, as well as in the testes during development of the adult reproductive system indicates that testis ecdysiotropin has a much larger impact on adult metamorphosis than development of the reproductive system and initiation of gametogenesis. Although this peptide may have a modulatory role in the central nervous system (CNS), it may also initiate a cascade of activity required for the development of the adult nervous system, in addition to its role in reproduction.
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