Anopheles gambiae males produce and transfer the vitellogenic steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone to females during mating

Pondeville, E., Maria, A., Jacques, J.-C., Bourgouin, C. and Dauphin-Villemant, C. (2008) Anopheles gambiae males produce and transfer the vitellogenic steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone to females during mating. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(50), pp. 19631-19636. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.0809264105)

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Abstract

In female insects, the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) plays a major role in activating vitellogenesis, a process required for egg development. By contrast with vertebrates, production of large amounts of hormonal steroids has not been reported in adult male insects. In the present study, we analyzed steroidogenesis in both male and female adult of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae and we found that A. gambiae male mosquitoes produce high amounts of the steroid hormone 20E. Importantly, we found that male accessory glands, but not testes, are the source of 20E. Moreover, this steroid hormone is stored in male accessory glands and delivered to females during mating. These findings suggest that male 20E may not act as a true male sex steroid, but more likely as an allohormone. Our results give new insights into species-specific physiological processes that govern the reproductive success of the malaria mosquito. This could thus lead to the identification of new target genes for manipulating male and/or female reproductive success, a promising way to reduce or eliminate mosquito population and therefore to control malaria transmission.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pondeville, Dr Emilie
Authors: Pondeville, E., Maria, A., Jacques, J.-C., Bourgouin, C., and Dauphin-Villemant, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
ISSN (Online):1091-6490

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