4 years ago

Nitric oxide contributes to high-salt perception in a blood-sucking insect model

Valeria Sfara, Diego Anfossi, Romina B. Barrozo, Agustina Cano, Gina Pontes
In all organisms, salts produce either appetitive or aversive responses depending on the concentration. While low-salt concentration in food elicits positive responses to ingest, high-salt triggers aversion. Still the mechanisms involved in this dual behavior have just started to be uncovered in some organisms. In Rhodnius prolixus, using pharmacological and behavioral assays, we demonstrated that upon high-salt detection in food a nitric oxide (NO) dependent cascade is activated. This activation involves a soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) and the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Thus, appetitive responses to low-salt diets turn to aversion whenever this cascade is activated. Conversely, insects feed over aversive high-salt solutions when it is blocked by reducing NO levels or by affecting the sGC activity. The activation of NO/sGC/cGMP cascade commands the avoidance feeding behavior in R. prolixus. Investigations in other insect species should examine the possibility that high-salt aversion is mediated by NO/sSG/cGMP signaling.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15861-0

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15861-0

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