The pyrokinin/pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN) family of peptides is characterized by a common C-terminal pentapeptide, FXPRLamide, which is required for diverse physiological functions in various insects. Polyclonal antisera against the C-terminus was utilized to determine the location of cell bodies and axons in the central nervous systems of larval and adult mosquitoes. Immunoreactive material was detected in three groups of neurons in the subesophageal ganglion of larvae and adults. The corpora cardiaca of both larvae and adults contained immunoreactivity indicating potential release into circulation. The adult and larval brains had at least one pair of immunoreactive neurons in the protocerebrum with the adult brain having additional immunoreactive neurons in the dorsal medial part of the protocerebrum. The ventral ganglia of both larvae and adults each contained one pair of neurons that sent their axons to a perisympathetic organ associated with each abdominal ganglion. These results indicate that the mosquito nervous system contains pyrokinin/PBAN-like peptides and that these peptides could be released into the hemolymph. The peptides in insects and mosquitoes are produced by two genes, capa and pk/pban. Utilizing PCR protocols, we demonstrate that products of the capa gene could be produced in the abdominal ventral ganglia and the products of the pk/pban gene could be produced in the subesophageal ganglion. Two receptors for pyrokinin peptides were differentially localized to various tissues.
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