Nutritional regulation of JH synthesis: a mechanism to control reproductive maturation in mosquitoes?

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2004 Jul;34(7):687-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2004.03.021.


Juvenile hormone (JH) titers must be modulated to permit the normal progress of development and reproduction in mosquitoes. In adult female Aedes aegypti, JH levels are low at adult eclosion, elevated in sugar-fed females and low again after a blood meal. Although degradation plays a role, JH titer is fundamentally determined by the rate of biosynthesis in the corpora allata gland (CA). CA from newly eclosed females (0-1 h after emergence) exhibit a very low basal JH biosynthetic activity, Aedes-allatotropin stimulates the CA in newly emerged females to produce JH. There is a correlation between nutritional reserves at adult emergence (teneral reserves) and CA activity. JH synthesis is significantly reduced in teneral females that emerge with low nutritional reserves. Taking a blood meal results in a reduction of CA activity. The biosynthetic activity of Ae. aegypti CA is significantly inhibited by factors present in the head, as well as by Anopheles gambiae PISCF-allatostatin. Nutritional signals affect the release of allatotropin and allatostatins by the brain resulting in the activation or inhibition of JH synthesis. JH is therefore an important part of a transduction mechanism that connects changes in the nutritional status with activation of specific physiological events during reproduction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / growth & development
  • Aedes / physiology
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Culicidae / physiology*
  • Female
  • Juvenile Hormones / biosynthesis*
  • Models, Biological
  • Reproduction / physiology


  • Juvenile Hormones