Opioid mechanisms in insects, with special attention toLeucophaea maderae
- Cite this article as:
- Scharrer, B., Stefano, G.B. & Leung, M.K. Cell Mol Neurobiol (1988) 8: 269. doi:10.1007/BF00711169
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This review article provides information on the evolutionary history of neuroendocrine and related regulatory mechanisms. It focuses on the presence, diverse roles, and modes of operation of one class of neuropeptides, the endogenous opioids, in insects.
Opioid peptides, closely resembling those of vertebrates, have been identified in the brain and related neuroendocrine structures by means of immunocytochemistry and high-pressure liquid chromatography.
The demonstration of naloxone-sensitive, high-affinity binding sites for Met-enkephalin-like neuropeptides in the brain and digestive tract ofLeucophaea deserves special attention because it provides new insights into the functional significance of opiate receptors paralleling those known in vertebrates.
Possible roles of receptor-mediated opioid systems in the insects discussed are regulation of the cyclicity of the female reproductive system, maintenance of normal midgut function mediated by the recurrent nerve, and locomotor activity.