International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Redox-state and hypoxia gene expression associated with division of labor in honeybee workers

Author(s):
Mário Sérgio Cervoni, Carlos Antônio Mendes Cardoso-Júnior , Giovana Craveiro , Anderson de Oliveira Souza , Luciane Carla Alberici , Klaus Hartfelder
Institution(s):
Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil; Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil ; Departamento de Genética, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil ; Departamento de Física e Química, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo ; Departamento de Física e Química, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo ; Departamento de Biologia Celular e Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
During adult life, honeybee workers undergo a succession of behavioral states, initiating as nurses and posteriorly becoming foragers. This switch is associated with alterations in diet and juvenile hormone and vitellogenin levels. Less clear is whether this switch also involves major changes at the cellular level, such as mitochondrial activity and the redox environment in the three main body compartments (head, thorax and abdomen). Using high-resolution respirometry, biochemical assays and RT-qPCR for candidate genes, we evaluated the association of these parameters with behavioral change. We found that mitochondria from the head and abdomen of nurses have higher OXPHOS and lower uncoupling levels, demonstrating a more efficient mitochondrial system, while in the thorax this was exactly opposite. Lower uncoupling levels tend to generate more H2O2, but this correlation was observed only in heads. H2O2 is expected to stabilize HIF-1α, stimulating hypoxia signaling, and such correlation was observed in the head and abdomen of nurses. An elevated expression of antioxidant genes was observed in foragers, which could explain their low levels of protein carbonylation. We conclude that this behavioral change is reflected in differential mitochondrial activities and redox parameters, and consider that this can provide insights into the aging process in honeybees.
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