Peptidergic control of the corpus cardiacum-corpora allata complex of locusts

Int Rev Cytol. 1998;182:249-302. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7696(08)62171-3.


The brain-corpora cardiaca-corpora allata complex of insects is the physiological equivalent of the brain-hypophysis axis of vertebrates. In locusts there is only one corpus cardiacum as a result of fusion, while most other insect species have a pair of such glands. Like the pituitary of vertebrates, the corpus cardiacum consists of a glandular lobe and a neurohemal lobe. The glandular lobe synthesizes and releases adipokinetic hormones. In the neurohemal part many peptide hormones, which are produced in neurosecretory cells in the brain, are released into the hemolymph. The corpora allata, which have no counterpart in vertebrates, synthesize and release juvenile hormones. The control of the locust corpus cardiacum-corpora allata complex appears to be very complex. Numerous brain factors have been reported to have an effect on biosynthesis and release of juvenile hormone or adipokinetic hormone. Many neuropeptides are present in nerves projecting from the brain into the corpora cardiaca-corpora allata complex, the most important ones being neuroparsins, ovary maturating parsin, insulin-related peptide, diuretic peptide, tachykinins, FLRFamides, FXPRLamides, accessory gland myotropin I, crustacean cardioactive peptide, and schistostatins. In this paper, the cellular distribution, posttranslational processing, peptide-receptor interaction, and inactivation of these peptides are reviewed. In addition, the signal transduction pathways in the release of adipokinetic hormone and juvenile hormone from, respectively, the corpora cardiaca and corpora allata are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpora Allata / physiology*
  • Grasshoppers / physiology*
  • Insect Proteins / physiology*
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena
  • Neuropeptides / physiology*


  • Insect Proteins
  • Neuropeptides