Juvenile hormone-stimulated synthesis of acyl-glycerols and vitamin E in female accessory sexual glands of the fire bug, Pyrrhocoris apterus L.

Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology

PubMedID: 19557854

Jedlicka P, Cvacka J, Sláma K. Juvenile hormone-stimulated synthesis of acyl-glycerols and vitamin E in female accessory sexual glands of the fire bug, Pyrrhocoris apterus L. Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2009;72(1):48-59.
Secretory cells of the female accessory sexual glands (AG) of P. apterus grow and produce yellow oily exocrine secretion in response to stimulation by endogenous juvenile hormone (JH) or exogenous treatments by JH analogues. The secretion determines the property of future egg shells by coating the chorion surface of the oocytes that are passing individually through the common uterus during oviposition. Diapausing females with a physiologically inhibited endocrine system or females with artificially removed hormonal sources show inactive ovaries and empty AG without the secretory products. Ovary-ectomised females with the intact neuroendocrine system develop hypertrophic AG loaded with the oily secretion. This shows that there is no direct dependence between formation of the oily secretion in AG and ovarian growth. Chemical analysis of the secretory products revealed the presence of acetylated glycerols, with the most abundant stearoyl-diacetyl-glycerol, stearoyl-acetyl-propionyl-glycerol, and the corresponding derivatives of arachidonic acid. In addition to this, the JH-activated secretory cells of AG also produced gamma- and delta-tocopherols. The possible antioxidant or antimutagenic action of these vitamin E compounds in insect reproduction has been emphasized.