Intercellular communication in insect development is hormonally controlled

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Science  13 Jan 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4325, pp. 192-195
DOI: 10.1126/science.202023


Cellular coupling in the insect epidermis changes in a characteristic way during metamorphosis. In vitro, beta-ecdysone mimics the initial phase of these changes by increasing electrical coupling. Both adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic AMP) and Ca2+ reverse natural and beta-ecdysone-stimulated changes, which suggests that ecdysone could work on communication through changes in cyclic AMP and Ca2+ levels. The transient changes in intercellular communication before metamorphosis may reflect the timing of the signals that trigger proliferation and the generation of new spatial patterns in the epidermis.