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Locusts as model organisms in which to study immunogen-induced anorectic behaviour

Goldsworthy, Graham J. (2010) Locusts as model organisms in which to study immunogen-induced anorectic behaviour. Journal of Insect Physiology 56 (8), pp. 991-997. ISSN 0022-1910.

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When injected into adult or nymphal Locusta that have been deprived of food for 2 h, immunogens such as laminarin and bacterial LPS can induce an almost immediate dose-dependent state of anorexia for at least 1 h. Such anorexia is a component of a medley of physiological and behavioural changes called collectively 'sickness behaviour' that occurs in a wide range of animals in response to infection or immune challenge. Sub-optimal amounts of injected laminarin allow some locusts to feed, but with a longer latency than in controls, although the length of the first meal is unaffected. The feeding behaviour of fifth instar nymphs is more sensitive to laminarin than that of adults, but both stages respond to amounts of immunogen that are lower than those required to activate the phenoloxidase cascade. Injection of adipokinetic hormone (AKH) before the period of food deprivation prevents the anorexigenic action of the laminarin in adults but not in nymphs. It is argued that the effect of the AKH may be indirect, through its lipid-mobilising action. The insecticide pymetrozine increases the latency to feed but also reduces the length of the first meal, and its anorexigenic activity is not affected by injection of AKH. The present data support the concept that laminarin-induced anorexia involves a central lack of motivation to eat, rather than a 'stop eating' signal. Others have shown that the mechanism of action of pymetrozine involves the serotonergic system and can be blocked by mianserin, so it is intriguing that in the present study injection of mianserin prior to that of laminarin modulates the anorexigenic effect of the immunogen. This suggests that biogenic amines are involved in the control of appetitive behaviour in locusts, as they are in vertebrates. The possible usefulness of the locust model in studying sickness-induced anorexia is discussed briefly.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): AKH, anorexia, feeding behaviour, Laminarin, Locusta, LPS, Mianserin, Serotonin
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2011 09:53
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20

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