Ghrelin effect on nutritional indices, midgut and fat body of Lymantria dispar L. (Lymantriidae)
Authors:Perić Mataruga, Vesna
Janković-Tomanić, Milena Ž.
Article (Published version)
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Ghrelin is a 28-amino acid peptide that has significant effects on appetite and growth in humans and animals. The aim of this study was to examine 4th instar larvae of the pest insect Lymantria dispar L. after ghrelin treatment. Parameters included changes in nutritional indices (efficiency of conversion of ingested food, efficiency of conversion of digested food, approximate digestibility); midgut and fat body mass; total proteases, trypsin and leucine aminopeptidase activities in the midgut; number, height and width of columnar and goblet cells and their nuclei in the midgut epithelium and detection of ghrelin-like immunoreactivity in the midgut tissue. Four subpicomolar injections of ghrelin (0.3 pmol) or physiological saline (control) were applied every 24h. The nutritional indices were higher in the ghrelin treated than in the control group. Ghrelin treatment was also associated with elevation of midgut mass, induced digestive enzyme activities, increased fat body mass and morphometric changes in columnar and goblet cells. This is the first report of the presence of ghrelin-like hormone in endocrine cells of an insect midgut. Such information provides additional evidence for application of this relatively simple model system in the future studies of the mechanisms underlying of digestion and energy balance in more complex organisms. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.