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Adipokinetic hormones (AKHs), the neurohormones synthesized in the insect corpora cardiaca are known to mobilize lipids and carbohydrates for energy-consuming activities including reproduction. However, both inhibitory and stimulatory effects of AKHs on insect reproduction have been reported, and the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Using the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, as a model system, we report here that AKHs are expressed in response to rhythmic diel change, and AKH III expression increases markedly at photophase. Diurnal injection of AKH III but not AKH I or AKH II in adult females stimulates vitellogenesis and egg development. In contrast, AKH treatment at scotophase represses female reproduction. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of AKH receptor (AKHR) results in significantly reduced vitellogenin (Vg) expression in the fat body at photophase along with reduced Vg deposition in the ovary. AKHR knockdown also leads to decreased expression of Brummer, triacylglycerol lipase and trehalose transporter, accompanied by suppressed mobilization of triacylglycerol and trehalose. We propose that in addition to stimulating Vg expression at photophase, AKH/AKHR signalling is likely to regulate ovarian uptake of Vg via triacylglycerol mobilization and trehalose homeostasis. This study provides new insights into the understanding of AKH/AKHR signalling in the regulation of insect reproduction. © 2020 The Royal Entomological Society.


H Zheng, C Chen, C Liu, Q Song, S Zhou. Rhythmic change of adipokinetic hormones diurnally regulates locust vitellogenesis and egg development. Insect molecular biology. 2020 Jun;29(3):283-292

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PMID: 31904153

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