Insect myotropic peptides: differential distribution of locustatachykinin- and leucokinin-like immunoreactive neurons in the locust brain

Cell Tissue Res. 1993 Oct;274(1):27-40. doi: 10.1007/BF00327982.


Locustatachykinin I is one of four closely related myotropic neuropeptides isolated from brain and corpora-cardiaca complexes of the locust Locusta migratoria. Antiserum was raised against locustatachykinin I for use in immunocytochemistry. It was found that the antiserum recognizes also locustatachykinin II and hence probably also the other two locustatachykinins due to their similarities in primary structure. Locustatachykinin-like immunoreactive (LomTK-LI) neurons were mapped in the brain of the locust, L. migratoria. A total of approximately 800 LomTK-LI neurons were found with cell bodies distributed in the proto-, deuto- and tritocerebrum, in the optic lobes and in the frontal ganglion. Processes of these neurons innervate most of the synaptic neuropils of the brain and optic lobes, as well as the frontal ganglion and hypocerebral ganglion. The widespread distribution of LomTK-LI neurons in the locust brain indicates an important role of the locustatachykinins in signal transfer or regulation thereof. As a comparison neurons were mapped with an antiserum against the cockroach myotropic peptide leucokinin I. This antiserum, which probably recognizes the native peptide locustakinin, labels a population of about 140 neurons distinct from the LomTK-LI neurons (no colocalized immunoreactivity). These neurons have cell bodies that are distributed in the proto- and tritocerebrum and in the optic lobe. The processes of the leucokinin-like immunoreactive (LK-LI) neurons do not invade as large areas in neuropil as the LomTK-LI neurons do and some neuropils, e.g. the mushroom bodies, totally lack innervation by LK-LI fibers. In some regions, however, the processes of the LomTK-LI and LK-LI neurons are superimposed: most notably in the central body and optic lobes. A functional relation between the two types of neuropeptide in the locust brain can, however, not be inferred from the present findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Grasshoppers / anatomy & histology
  • Grasshoppers / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insect Hormones / chemistry
  • Insect Hormones / immunology
  • Insect Hormones / metabolism*
  • Insect Proteins*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuropeptides / chemistry
  • Neuropeptides / immunology
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Tachykinins / immunology
  • Tachykinins / metabolism


  • Insect Hormones
  • Insect Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Tachykinins
  • locustatachykinin I protein, Locusta migratoria