At day two, a sharp peak of octopamine (OA) was observed in last instar female Bombyx mori larvae. This peak also appeared in male larvae a day later than in females at day three. An OA peak was also observed before the 3rd ecdysis. However, no OA peaks were observed in 4th instar larvae. At day eight and nine of the 5th instar, another OA peak was observed for male and female, respectively. A peak of tyramine (TA) was found at day one followed by a peak of OA at day two in 3rd instar larvae. At day two, a day before OA peak, a peak of TA was observed for male insects and before the 2nd peak of OA, TA titre was also high in 5th instar larvae. Immediately after 3rd ecdysis, a high titre of DL-β-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)alanine (DOPA) was observed, followed by a peak of dopamine (DA) at day five. A peak of DOPA was found at day one followed by a peak of DA at day two in 3rd instar larvae. Similarly, a small peak of DOPA was observed at day two, followed by an increase of DA at days eight and nine after the 4th ecdysis. Ecdysteroid peaks were observed just before the 3rd and 4th ecdysis and an ecdysteroid titre increased after the start of spinning. The effects of OA and JH on production of ecdysteroids by prothoracic glands (PGs) were examined in order to identify neuromediators responsible for triggering pupation in B. mori larvae. Exogeneous OA (10-100 mM) reduced and 10 μM OA stimulated the production of ecdysteroids in the presence and absence of brain extracts by PGs in the final instar (day five) of B. mori in vitro. Meanwhile, exogeneous JHI (10 μg/ml) stimulated and at 5 μg/ml it reduced production of ecdysteroids in the presence of brain extracts. Gramine, an OA antagonist, delayed pupation when applied in the diet. Thus, OA may produce some biological effects on the programming of larval-pupal development.
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