Integument and hemocyte peptides

Miklos Sass, Agnes Kiss, Michael Locke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


There are four routing classes of integument peptide in the caterpillar of Calpodes ethlius. The epidermis secretes peptides apically into the cuticle (C), basally into the hemolymph (H) and in both directions (BD). Peptides in a 4th class (T), are presumed to be transported across the epidermis, because the epidermis does not synthesize them although they occur in both cuticle and hemolymph. In a search for the origin of the presumed transepidermal peptides we found that hemocytes contain some peptides from all four routing classes. Peptides prepared from washed hemocytes reacted in immunoblots to antibodies against integument peptides prepared from hemolymph and cuticle. These peptides are probably synthesized by hemocytes because they matched those from medium containing [35S]methionine in which hemocytes had been incubated. Calpodes hemolymph contains four hemocyte types. Immunogold labelling localized integument peptides in the secretory pathway of granulocytes and spherulocytes and in the cytosol of oenocytoids but not in plasmatocytes. Each peptide was localized in a particular kind or kinds of hemocyte. Granulocyte secretory vesicles reacted with antibodies to C180, C55 and BD82 kDa peptides. Spherulocytes secretory vesicles reacted with antibodies to C180, C55, BD89, BD82 and a 78 kDa peptide presumed to be the precursor of T66. Oenocyotoids reacted with antibodies to H45, 38, 32, 23 and BD89 kDa peptides. Spherulocytes were the only tissue to react with antibodies to the T66 kDa peptide that is found abundantly in cuticle and hemolymph. Spherulocytes are therefore presumed to secrete the 66 kDa peptide into the hemolymph from where it is transported to the cuticle. The C180 and C55 kDa peptides do not occur in hemolymph. Their presence in granulocytes and spherulocytes may be associated with hemocyte functions such as basal lamina formation, since immunogold localized them in that part of the basal lamina next to the hemolymph, as would be expected if hemocytes deposited components onto the exposed hemolymph surface. The presence of hemolymph peptides in oenocytoids is more difficult to interpret, since the antigenic reactions are localized in the cytosol rather than in the secretory pathway expected for exported proteins. We conclude that integument peptides are not secreted only by the epidermis, nor is the cuticle their only destination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-421
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1994


  • Calpodes
  • Granulocyte
  • Hemocyte
  • Hemolymph peptides
  • Integument
  • Oenocytoid
  • Plasmatocyte
  • Spherulocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Insect Science

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