Redox Metabolism During Tropical Diapause in a Lepidoptera Larva

  • Daniel Carneiro Moreira
  • Débora Pires Paula
  • Marcelo Hermes-Lima


Many studies on metabolic rate depression and redox metabolism exist in the literature; however, virtually none focuses on tropical insect diapause. Thus, our aim was to evaluate peculiarities of the metabolism of reactive oxygen species (ROS) between diapausing and non-diapausing insects in a tropical region. The lepidopteran Chlosyne lacinia undergoes diapause as larva at the third instar prior to the dry season in middle-west Brazil. We measured the activity of metabolic and anti-oxidant enzymes at day 20 of diapause. The activity of citrate synthase decreased by 81% in whole-body extracts as compared with larvae sampled before diapause entry. Moreover, total-glutathione content and lipid peroxidation dropped significantly (by 82 and 24%, respectively) in diapausing insects. On the other hand, the activities of catalase and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) were unchanged. These results indicate a diminished oxidative metabolism and suggest important roles for catalase and G6PDH in ROS control in diapause and, possibly, during arousal. The diminished glutathione levels could be related to its depletion by glutathione-dependent systems or by its diminished biosynthesis.


Total Glutathione G6PDH Activity Metabolic Depression Redox Metabolism Hypometabolic State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by grants from FINATEC (Brasília, Brazil), Projeto Universal (CNPq, Brazil), and INCT-Processos Redox em Biomedicina (Redoxoma, CNPq). Daniel C. Moreira is a recipient of an undergraduate fellowship from CNPq. We thank graduate student Renata Timbó (UnB) for taking good care of our “sleeping” bugs and Prof. Élida G. Campos (UnB) for revising this manuscript. We also thank an anonymous reviewer for insightful comments. This study is in honor of Cláudio Mário Guimarães da Silva (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), retired biology teacher and an inspiring mind.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Carneiro Moreira
    • 1
  • Débora Pires Paula
    • 2
  • Marcelo Hermes-Lima
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Radicais Livres, Departamento de Biologia CelularUniversidade de BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Ecologia MolecularEmbrapa Recursos Genéticos e BiotecnologiaBrasíliaBrazil

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