Biostable insect kinin analogs reduce blood meal and disrupt ecdysis in the blood-gorging Chagas’ disease vector, Rhodnius prolixus.

Lange AB, Nachman RJ, Kaczmarek K, Zabrocki J

Peptides 2016 06; 80():108-113

PMID: 26807486


Rhodnius prolixus is a blood-gorging hemipteran that takes blood meals that are approximately 10 times its body weight. This blood meal is crucial for growth and development and is needed to ensure a successful molt into the next instar. Kinins are a multifunctional family of neuropeptides which have been shown to play a role in the control of feeding in a variety of insects. In this study, two biostable Aib-containing kinin analogs were tested to see if they interfere with blood-feeding and subsequent development into the next instar. One of the analogs, 1729 (Ac-R[Aib]FF[Aib]WGa), had no effect on the size of the blood meal or on the subsequent molting of the insect into the next instar. This analog also did not interfere with either short-term or long-term diuresis. The second analog, 1728 ([Aib]FF[Aib]WGa), appeared to be an antifeedant. Insects feeding on blood containing this analog (15μM) only consumed 60% of the blood meal taken by insects fed on blood without analog. Insects feeding on blood containing 1728 had a slower rate of rapid diuresis (diuresis in the first 3-5h after feeding) leading to less urine being excreted by 5days post feeding. The consequence of these effects was that insects fed on 1728 did not molt. This data indicates that the biostable Aib-containing analog 1728 disrupts normal growth and development in the blood-feeding insect, R. prolixus.