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|Title:||CALCIUM TRANSPORT BY INSECT MALPIGHIAN TUBULES|
|Abstract:||Insects maintain blood (haemolymph) Ca2+ concentrations within a narrow range in order to support the health of internal tissues and organs. The Malpighian (renal) tubules play a primary role in haemolymph Ca2+ homeostasis by sequestering excess Ca2+ within calcified biomineral deposits (Ca-rich granules) often located within type I (principal) tubule cells. Using the classic Ramsay assay, the scanning ion-selective microelectrode technique (SIET), and modifications of these two electrophysiological techniques, this thesis begins to unravel the sites and mechanisms of Ca2+ transport by the Malpighian tubules isolated from eight insects, representing seven orders. A segment-specific pattern of Ca2+ flux was observed along the length of the Malpighian tubules isolated from D. melanogaster, A. aegypti and A. domesticus and was uniform along the length in the remaining species. The majority (≥ 90%) of Ca2+ entering the tubule cells is sequestered within intracellular calcium stores in Ca2+-transporting segments of D. melanogaster and A. domesticus tubules, consistent with the presence of Ca-rich storage granules in these tubule segments. In addition, this thesis provides the first measurements of basolateral Ca2+ flux across single principal and secondary tubule cells of T. ni, where Ca2+ uptake occurs only across principal cells. Perhaps the most important finding of this thesis is that increasing fluid secretion through manipulation of intracellular levels of cAMP or Ca2+ in isolated tubules of A. domesticus had opposite effects on tubule Ca2+ transport. The adenylyl cyclase-cAMP-PKA pathway promotes Ca2+ sequestration whereas both 5-hydroxytryptamine and thapsigargin inhibited sequestration. In contrast, tubules of the remaining species were generally insensitive to cAMP or thapsigargin and v rates of tubule Ca2+ transport were often very low. The presence of Ca-rich granules in the cells of the midgut in several of the species with low rates of tubule Ca2+ transport provide evidence for a putative role of the midgut in haemolymph Ca2+ homeostasis. Taken together, these results suggest that the principal cells of the Malpighian tubules contribute to haemolymph calcium homeostasis through neuroendocrine regulated sequestration of excess Ca2+ during periods of high dietary calcium intake. Sequestration of dietary Ca2+ by the midgut may reduce Ca2+ entry into the haemolymph and therefore Ca2+ sequestration by the Malpighian tubules need not be so rapid. Finally, reversible tubule Ca2+ transport may allow internal reserves of Ca2+ (Ca-rich granules) to be returned to the haemolymph allowing insects to survive prolong periods of Ca2+ deficiency (i.e. overwintering).|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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