In Locusta migratoria, activation of phenoloxidase in the haemolymph in response to injection of laminarin is age-dependent: being absent in fifth instar nymphs and newly emerged adults, and only becoming evident four days after the final moult. This pattern of change in phenoloxidase activation correlates with the pattern of change in the concentration of apolipophorin-III (apoLp-III) in the haemolymph. Injection of a conspecific adipokinetic hormone (Lom-AKH-I) has no effect on the phenoloxidase response in nymphs or newly emerged adults but, in adults older than four days, co-injection of the hormone with laminarin prolongs the activation of phenoloxidase in the haemolymph: a similar enhancement of the response to laminarin is observed in locusts that have been starved for 48 h but not injected with AKH-I. During most of the fifth stadium, injection of laminarin results in a decrease in the level of prophenoloxidase in the haemolymph; an effect that is not observed in adults of any age. Marked changes in the concentration of apoLp-III, and the formation of LDLp in the haemolymph, are observed after injection of laminarin (or LPS) and these are remarkably similar, at least qualitatively, to those that occur after injection of AKH-I. The involvement of lipophorins in the activation of locust prophenoloxidase in response to immunogens is discussed
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