The Distribution of a Kinin-Like Peptide and Its Co-Localization With a CRF-like Peptide in the Blood-Feeding Bug, Rhodnius Prolixus

Peptides. 2001 Feb;22(2):161-73. doi: 10.1016/s0196-9781(00)00373-9.


Rhodnius prolixus, a blood-feeding hemipteran insect, ingests large meals which are followed by rapid diuresis to eliminate excess water and salt. In Rhodnius, serotonin and an unidentified peptide(s) [33,34] have been shown to act as neurohormonal diuretic factors. In other insects, two families of diuretic peptides, the corticotropin releasing factor (CRF)-like, and kinin peptides [9], have been identified and sequenced. Recently, we demonstrated the presence of a CRF-like diuretic peptide in the CNS and digestive system of Rhodnius [47] using immunohistochemistry and bioassay. In this study, combining immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassay (RIA) techniques, we show the presence of leucokinin-like peptide(s) in the CNS and digestive system of Rhodnius 5th instar. Additionally, double-label immunohistochemistry demonstrates that the leucokinin-like and CRF-like peptides are co-localized in the posterior lateral neurosecretory cells of the mesothoracic ganglionic mass (MTGM) and in neurohaemal areas on abdominal nerves one and two, suggesting the possibility of co-release of the peptides into the hemolymph.Partially purified extracts of the CNS and neurohaemal tissue were tested in vitro on Malpighian tubule secretion and cAMP assays. The factors eluting with increasing acetonitrile percentages from Sep-Pak cartridges were assayed in the presence or absence of ketanserin, a serotonin antagonist which blocks the effects of serotonin on Malpighian tubules. The results indicate activity of serotonin and a CRF-like diuretic peptide on Rhodnius Malpighian tubules, but fail to demonstrate activity of the leucokinin-like peptide(s). The rapid diuresis following feeding is a highly coordinated event, requiring the movement of water and salt across the epithelial cells of the crop into the hemolymph, and from the hemolymph across the cells of the Malpighian tubules. The urine then travels along the Malpighian tubules into the hindgut in order to be expelled. The presence of a leucokinin-like peptide(s) in the CNS and digestive system, which co-localizes with a CRF-like peptide(s), suggests that kinins may play a role in the rapid diuresis, although possibly not directly on the Malpighian tubules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kinins / metabolism*
  • Rhodnius / metabolism*


  • Kinins
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone