Dietary TiO2 particles modulate expression of hormone-related genes in Bombyx mori

Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Guofang ShiLihua Zhao


Silkworm (Bombyx mori) is an economically beneficial insect. Its growth and development are regulated by endogenous hormones. In the present study, we found that feeding titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NP) caused a significant increase of body size. TiO2 NP stimulated the transcription of several genes, including the insulin-related hormone bombyxin, PI3K/Akt/TOR (where PI3K is phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and TOR is target of rapamycin), and the adenosine 5'-monophosphateactivated protein kinase (AMPK)/target of rapamycin (TOR) pathways. Differentially expressed gene (DEG) analysis documented 26 developmental hormone signaling related genes that were differentially expressed following dietary TiO2 NP treatment. qPCR analysis confirmed the upregulation of insulin/ecdysteroid signaling genes, such as bombyxin B-1, bombyxin B-4, bombyxin B-7, MAPK, P70S6K, PI3k, eIF4E, E75, ecdysteroid receptor (EcR), and insulin-related peptide binding protein precursor 2 (IBP2). We infer from the upregulated expression of bombyxins and the signaling network that they act in bombyxin-stimulated ecdysteroidogenesis.


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