Hormonal control of the yolk precursor vitellogenin regulates immune function and longevity in honeybees

Gro Amdam, Zilá L P Simões, Arne Hagen, Kari Norberg, Knut Schrøder, Øyvind Mikkelsen, Thomas B L Kirkwood, Stig W. Omholt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

212 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A striking example of plasticity in life span is seen in social insects such as ants and bees, where different castes may display distinct ageing patterns. In particular, the honeybee offers an intriguing illustration of environmental control on ageing rate. Honeybee workers display a temporal division of labour where young bees (or 'hive bees') perform tasks within the brood nest, and older bees forage for nectar, pollen propolis and water. When bees switch from the hive bee to the forager stage, their cellular defence machinery is down-regulated by a dramatic reduction in the number of functioning haemocytes (immunocytes). This study documents that the yolk precursor vitellogenin is likely to be involved in a regulatory pathway that controls the observed decline in somatic maintenance function of honeybee foragers. An association between the glyco-lipoprotein vitellogenin and immune function has not previously been reported for any organism. Honeybee workers are functionally sterile, and via the expression of juvenile hormone, a key gonotrophic hormone in adult insects, their vitellogenin levels are influenced by social interactions with other bees. Our results therefore suggest that in terms of maintenance of the cellular immune system, senescence of the honeybee worker is under social control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-773
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Vitellogenins
Bees
Aging of materials
Plant Nectar
Propolis
Juvenile Hormones
Immune system
Urticaria
Lipoproteins
Machinery
Plasticity
Insects
Switches
Association reactions
Personnel
Hormones
Maintenance
Water
Hemocytes
Ants

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • Apoptosis
  • Immune suppression
  • Juvenile hormone
  • Longevity
  • Vitellogenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Amdam, G., Simões, Z. L. P., Hagen, A., Norberg, K., Schrøder, K., Mikkelsen, Ø., ... Omholt, S. W. (2004). Hormonal control of the yolk precursor vitellogenin regulates immune function and longevity in honeybees. Experimental Gerontology, 39(5), 767-773. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2004.02.010

Hormonal control of the yolk precursor vitellogenin regulates immune function and longevity in honeybees. / Amdam, Gro; Simões, Zilá L P; Hagen, Arne; Norberg, Kari; Schrøder, Knut; Mikkelsen, Øyvind; Kirkwood, Thomas B L; Omholt, Stig W.

In: Experimental Gerontology, Vol. 39, No. 5, 05.2004, p. 767-773.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Amdam, G, Simões, ZLP, Hagen, A, Norberg, K, Schrøder, K, Mikkelsen, Ø, Kirkwood, TBL & Omholt, SW 2004, 'Hormonal control of the yolk precursor vitellogenin regulates immune function and longevity in honeybees', Experimental Gerontology, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 767-773. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2004.02.010
Amdam, Gro ; Simões, Zilá L P ; Hagen, Arne ; Norberg, Kari ; Schrøder, Knut ; Mikkelsen, Øyvind ; Kirkwood, Thomas B L ; Omholt, Stig W. / Hormonal control of the yolk precursor vitellogenin regulates immune function and longevity in honeybees. In: Experimental Gerontology. 2004 ; Vol. 39, No. 5. pp. 767-773.
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