Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 331, Issue 3, pp 659–673

Developmental regulation and functions of the expression of the neuropeptide corazonin in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Gyunghee Lee
  • Kyeong-Man Kim
  • Keiko Kikuno
  • Zixing Wang
  • Youn-Jeong Choi
  • Jae H. Park
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00441-007-0549-5

Cite this article as:
Lee, G., Kim, K., Kikuno, K. et al. Cell Tissue Res (2008) 331: 659. doi:10.1007/s00441-007-0549-5

Abstract

Although the corazonin gene (Crz) has been molecularly characterized, little is known concerning the function of this neuropeptide in Drosophila melanogaster. To gain insight into Crz function in Drosophila, we have investigated the developmental regulation of Crz expression and the morphology of corazonergic neurons. From late embryo to larva, Crz expression is consistently detected in three neuronal groups: dorso-lateral Crz neurons (DL), dorso-medial Crz neurons (DM), and Crz neurons in the ventral nerve cord (vCrz). Both the vCrz and DM groups die via programmed cell death during metamorphosis, whereas the DL neurons persist to adulthood. In adults, Crz is expressed in a cluster of six to eight neurons per lobe in the pars lateralis (DLP), in numerous neuronal cells in the optic lobes, and in a novel group of four abdominal ganglionic neurons present only in males (ms-aCrz). The DLP group consists of two subsets of cells having different developmental origins: embryo and pupa. In the optic lobes, we have detected both Crz transcripts and Crz promoter activity, but no Crz-immunoreactive products, suggesting a post-transcriptional regulation of Crz mRNA. Projections of the ms-aCrz neurons terminate within the ventral nerve cord, implying a role as interneurons. Terminals of the DLP neurons are found in the retrocerebral complex that produces juvenile hormone and adipokinetic hormone. Significant reduction of trehalose levels in adults lacking DLP neurons suggests that DLP neurons are involved in the regulation of trehalose metabolism. Thus, the tissue-, stage-, and sex-specific expression of Crz and the association of Crz with the function of the retrocerebral complex suggest diverse roles for this neuropeptide in Drosophila.

Keywords

NeuropeptideCorazoninCorpora cardiacaMetamorphosisProgrammed cell deathDrosophila melanogaster (Insecta)

Abbreviations

AE

After eclosion

AEL

After egg laying

Akh

Adipokinetic hormone

APF

After puparium formation

CA

Corpora allata

CC

Corpora cardiaca

CNS

Central nervous system

Crz

Corazonin

DL

Dorso-lateral Crz neurons

DM

Dorso-medial Crz neurons

DLP

Dorso-lateral posterior Crz neurons

GFP

Green fluorescent protein

ISH

In situ hybridization

ir

Immunoreactive

JH

Juvenile hormone

OL

Optic lobe

PCD

Programmed cell death

PLT

Posterior lateral tract

TRITC

Tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate

vCrz

Crz neurons in the ventral nerve cord

VNC

Ventral nerve cord

X-gal

5-Bromo-4-chloro-3-indoyl β-D-galactoside

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gyunghee Lee
    • 1
  • Kyeong-Man Kim
    • 2
  • Keiko Kikuno
    • 1
  • Zixing Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Youn-Jeong Choi
    • 1
  • Jae H. Park
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular BiologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, College of PharmacyChonnam National UniversityKwang-JuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Graduate Program of Genome Science and TechnologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA