Hormonal release of programmed behavior in silk moths: probable mediation by cyclic AMP

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Science  24 Dec 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4272, pp. 1432-1434
DOI: 10.1126/science.188130


The eclosion hormone triggers a stereotyped preprogrammed pattern of behavior in silk moths. The effects of the hormone were duplicated by the injection of dibutyryl adenosine 3', 5'-monophosphate, adenosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP), or guanosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cyclic GMP) into theophylline-treated pharate moths. Treatment with theophylline reduced the latency of the response to a low dose of hormone, presumably by blocking phosphodiesterase. Endogenous levels of cyclic AMP, but not cyclic GMP, increased significantly in the central nervous system within 10 minutes after hormone injection. We conclude that an early step leading to the release of the eclosion motor program is an increase in cyclic AMP in target neurons of the central nervous system.