Microscopy research and technique

Effects of treatment of the fat body trophocytes of Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides nurse workers and virgin queens in culture by juvenile hormone III and ecdysterone (20-HE).

PMID 23034815


The fat body (FB) consists of two types of cells: throphocytes and oenocytes. Throphocytes are related to intermediary metabolism storing lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins while oenocytes play role in the lipids and lipoproteins production. The vitellogenin is the precursor of egg yolk (vitelline) and is synthesized on FB. The aim of this work was to analyze the effects of hormones acting in bee reproduction, as juvenile hormone (JH) and ecdisteroids (20 HE) on FB cells, where vitellogenin is synthesized. For the study were chose nurse workers that in Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides present activated ovaries and produce eggs, and virgin queens whose ovaries are not yet activated, presenting only previtellogenic follicles. FB trophocytes from these classes of bees were cultivated in media containing different amounts of JH and 20-HE. The effects on trophocytes cytoplasm reserves of lipids, proteins, and activity of acid phosphatase were compared by observing preparations from cultured FB, treated and control, by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results showed that the hormones effects are related to the bee's caste and functional ovary stage. The role of acid phosphatase on mobilization of the trophocyte reserves was also determined.