Characterization of the Adipokinetic Hormone/Corazonin-Related Peptide Signalling System in the Mosquito, Aedes Aegypti
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The adipokinetic hormone/corazonin-related peptide (ACP) is an insect neuropeptide structurally intermediate between corazonin (CRZ) and adipokinetic (AKH) hormones, which all demonstrate homology to the vertebrate gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). AKH and CRZ are best known to function in energy mobilization and cardioacceleration, respectively, however, the function of the ACP signalling system remains unclear. Here the gene encoding the ACP receptor in Aedes aegypti has been identified. Functional deorphanization of AedaeACPR-I revealed a highly specific response for its native ligand, ACP. Analysis of spatial and developmental expression profiles reveals enrichment of ACP and ACPR in the central nervous system and post-eclosion, respectively. The cell-specific distribution of the ACP and ACPR within the central nervous system was examined revealing expression within distinct regions of the brain, thoracic ganglia, and abdominal ganglia. The findings of this thesis point to a role of ACP within the nervous system functioning either as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter.