Neural reorganization and its endocrine control during insect metamorphosis

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8 Scopus citations


Neural reorganization that accompanies insect metamorphosis requires two types of control mechanisms. First, individual cells must be induced to express their internal developmental programs at the proper time. Second, on a more rapid time scale, new circuits must become functional at the appropriate time in the animal's life. The latter is especially important because the new circuits are incorporated into a functioning nervous system and must not disrupt ongoing behavior. This chapter summarizes work on these control mechanisms. Most of the work described was performed on the tobacco hawkmoth, Manduca sexta. Its life cycle serves as a representative example in the chapter, although the details vary in different holometabolous insects. The evidence that endocrine signals are important for inducing and regulating metamorphic changes is provided. Insect metamorphosis is controlled by two hormones: the steroid 20-hydroxyecdysone (20-HE) and the sesquiterpenoid juvenile hormone (JH). The hormones 20-HE and JH also determine the developmental fates of individual neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-365
Number of pages25
JournalCurrent topics in developmental biology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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