chapter  6
32 Pages

Endocrine Control of Female Reproduction

WithG. Stowasser

This chapter focuses on hormonal control of vitellogenesis and ovarian maturation. It illustrates advances in identifying the pathways of vitellogenin synthesis and describes its main regulators and advances in their isolation and mode of action. Central to female reproduction is the process of vitellogenesis including the biosynthesis of yolk proteins and their transport and storage in the ovary for sustenance of the developing embryo. Molecular techniques have furthermore substantiated previous findings that the site or sites of vitellogenin synthesis differ depending on the stage of reproduction and/or molting cycle. Studies on the endocrine regulation of female reproduction and molting have revealed that both processes are controlled by a complex interaction of several neuropeptides, juvenoids and steroids. The Y-organs are classical non-neural endocrine organs located in the maxillary segments and are the most active site for ecdysteroid synthesis and release in crustaceans.