Lipid Mobilization and Acyl-Coenzyme A Dehydrogenase Abundance in the Postpharyngeal Gland of a Leaf-Cutting Ant

Alexsandro Santana Vieira, Odair Corre Bueno

Abstract


The postpharyngeal gland (PPG) in ants has a central role in lipid
accumulation. Our objective was to investigate whether the PPG of
workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa (F.) performs
lipid mobilization to the hemolymph, and to verify whether lipids
in gland cells are in part oxidized to acetyl-CoA. Increased levels
of fatty acids were observed in both the PPG and the hemolymph
after 48 h of lipid supplementation. In contrast, after 120 h of lipid
supplementation, fatty acid levels were reduced in the PPG and
significantly increased in the hemolymph. The gland cells of the PPG
of workers supplemented with lipids exhibited a high amount of Acyl-
CoA dehydrogenase, and the lipids were in part β-oxidized to Acetyl-
CoA. These findings suggest that the PPG of A. sexdens rubropilosa
workers mobilize fatty acids from their gland cells to the hemolymph.
Further work will be needed to elucidate lipid transport from the
hemolymph to other organs in this organism.


Keywords


Attini; confocal microscopy; hemolymph; insects; GC-MS.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v63i4.1027

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