Expression analysis of peptidergic enteroendocrine cells in the silkworm Bombyx mori

Cell Tissue Res. 2022 Sep;389(3):385-407. doi: 10.1007/s00441-022-03666-1. Epub 2022 Jul 13.


Enteroendocrine cells (ECs) in the insect midgut respond to physiological changes in the intestine by releasing multiple peptides to control food intake, gastrointestinal activity and systemic metabolism. Here, we performed a comprehensive mapping of ECs producing different regulatory peptides in the larval midgut of Bombyx mori. In total, we identified 20 peptide genes expressed in different ECs in specific regions of the midgut. Transcript-specific in situ hybridisation combined with antibody staining revealed approximately 30 subsets of ECs, each producing a unique peptide or a combination of several different peptides. Functional significance of this diversity and specific roles of different enteroendocrine peptides are largely unknown. Results of this study highlight the importance of the midgut as a major endocrine/paracrine source of regulatory molecules in insects and provide important information to clarify functions of ECs during larval feeding and development.

Keywords: Co-expression; Endocrine cells; Immunohistochemistry; In situ hybridisation; Midgut; Regulatory peptides.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bombyx* / genetics
  • Enteroendocrine Cells / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism
  • Intestines
  • Larva / metabolism


  • Insect Proteins