Hormonal control of growth in the wing imaginal disks of Junonia coenia: the relative contributions of insulin and ecdysone.
The wing imaginal disks of Lepidoptera can be grown in tissue culture, but require both insulin and ecdysone to grow normally. Here, we investigate the contributions the two hormones make to growth. Ecdysone is required to maintain mitoses, whereas in the presence of insulin alone mitoses stop. Both ecdysone and insulin stimulate protein synthesis, but only ecdysone stimulates DNA synthesis. Insulin stimulates primarily cytoplasmic growth and an increase in cell size, whereas ecdysone, by virtue of its stimulation of DNA synthesis and mitosis, stimulates growth by an increase in cell number. Although both hormones stimulate protein synthesis, they do so in different spatial patterns. Both hormones stimulate protein synthesis in the inter-vein regions, but ecdysone stimulates synthesis more strongly in the veins and in the margin of the wing disk. We propose that the balance of insulin and ecdysone signaling must be regulated to maintain normal growth, and when growth appears to be due primarily to an increase in cell number, or an increase in cell size, this may indicate growth occurred under conditions that favored a stronger role for ecdysone, or insulin, respectively.
Nijhout, HF; Laub, E; Grunert, LW
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