alexa Cellular and Molecular Actions of Juvenile Hormone. II. Roles of Juvenile Hormone in Adult Insects
Geology & Earth Science

Geology & Earth Science

Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research

Author(s): G R Wyatt, Kenneth G Davey

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Among animal hormones, juvenile hormone (JH) is distinctive because of its unique structure and the diversity of its effects on insect development and reproduction. This chapter reviews the actions of JH on the fat body, gonads, accessory glands, muscle, and nervous system of adult insects. Whereas the epidermis is a major target of premetamorphic JH action, it has been studied little in adult insects, which generally do not moult. However, since the development of yellow pigmentation that accompanies sexual maturation in adult male locusts is clearly dependent on JH-regulation processes, in which cellular and molecular mechanism are investigated. The rapid recent progress in understanding how ecdysteroids regulate the gene activities has resulted from the opportunities afforded by drosophila melanogaster: mapped and characterized mutants, polytene chromosomes with puffs marking active genes, efficient germ-line transformation. The recognition of two aspects of JH action in the tissues of adult insects is reviewed. A model for understanding some aspects of priming by JH may be found in the action of ecdysteroids, where early genes produce factors needed for the expression of late genes. In structure, thyroxine is very different from JH, but there is considerable resemblance between thyroxine and phenoxyphenoxy carbamate, fenoxycarb. Functionally, there are marked similarities. Thyroxine governs metamorphosis in amphibians, but is remarkably pleiotropic in governing many processes ranging from the maturation of the central nervous system to thermoregulation. The chapter emphasizes the importance of selecting insect systems on the basis of their optimal features for research, rather than historical precedent or economic importance. With selection of appropriate systems and application of the cell and molecular research techniques now available, the elusive problem of JH action should soon yield to enlightenment.

This article was published in  Advances in insect physiology and referenced in Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research

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