Journal of Neuroendocrinology vol:16 issue:8 pages:649-59
This review summarizes recent advances and novel concepts in the area of insect reproductive neuroendocrinology. The role of 'classic' hormones, such as ecdysteroids and juvenoids, to control reproduction is well documented in a large variety of insect species. In adult gonads, ecdysteroids appear to induce a cascade of transcription factors, many of which also occur during the larval molting response. Recent molecular and functional data have created opportunities to study an additional level of regulation, that of neuropeptides, growth factors and their respective receptors. As a result, many homologs of factors playing a role in vertebrate reproductive physiology have been discovered in insects. This review highlights several neuropeptides controlling the biosynthesis and release of the 'classic' insect hormones, as well as various peptides and biogenic amines that regulate behavioural aspects of the reproduction process. In addition, hormone metabolizing enzymes and second messenger pathways are discussed with respect to their role in reproductive tissues. Finally, we speculate on future prospects for insect neuroendocrinological research as a consequence of the recent 'Genomics Revolution'.