Diversity in tachykinin-like peptides in the insect brain

Acta Biol Hung. 1992;43(1-4):175-88.


When testing a large number of antisera against tachykinins of various vertebrates and one insect (the cockroach Leucophaea maderae) we found three distinct populations of tachykinin-immunoreactive neurons in the blowfly: (1) one recognized by antisera against substance P, (2) another by antisera against the frog peptide kassinin and (3) a third with antisera raised against the cockroach peptide Leucokinin I. As a comparison tests on the cockroach Leucophaea showed that only antisera against neurokinin A (NKA) and leucokinin I gave immunostaining, RIA and immunocytochemical displacement tests demonstrated that the each of the three listed types of antisera was specific for the corresponding antigenic peptide and showed virtually no cross reactivity with the other tachykinin peptides. By immunocytochemistry we have mapped the three populations of tachykinin-immunoreactive neurons in the blowfly CNS. Two constitute unique sets of interneurons that were previously not detected with other antisera, the third, recognized by antisera against substance P, is a subpopulation of the FMRFamide immunoreactive neurons. The leucokinin immunoreactive material in the blowfly seems to be chemically different from that in Leucophaea and also the sets of neurons immunolabeled in the two insect species are to some extent different. The preliminary results presented here indicate the presence of multiple forms of tachykinin-like peptides in the blowfly and that these are distinct from those in the cockroach. From the immunocytochemistry it appears that the insect tachykinins may be involved in a variety of regulatory functions in the CNS and in some cases possibly act as neurohormones.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cockroaches / anatomy & histology
  • Cockroaches / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insecta / anatomy & histology
  • Insecta / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Tachykinins / chemistry
  • Tachykinins / immunology
  • Tachykinins / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Tachykinins