APGW-amide is a well-known neurohormone modulator in several molluscs, and is involved in motor activities, feeding, and sexual behavior. In this report we show that injections of APGW-amide into 4-mo-old juvenile Haliotis asinina stimulate growth of body weight and, to a lesser degree, shell length. The injections were given at 0 (control), 20, and 200 ng/g body weight (BW), at 1-wk intervals for 14 wk. BW and shell length (SL) were measured every week, and growth rates were calculated. When compared with control animals, there was an approximate 2-fold increase in body growth rates of animals given 20 ng/g BW and 200 ng/g BW APGW-amide (P ≤ 0.05), whereas only 20 ng/g BW APGW-amide produced significantly greater SL than controls (P ≤ 0.05), with an approximate 1.2-fold increase. Using an immunoperoxidase technique, we showed the presence of APGW-amide in neuronal cells of the cerebral ganglia and nerve fibers. Overall, these data indicate that APGW-amide is an important neurohormone/neuromodulator in the nervous system of H. asinina and plays a role in controlling the body growth of H. asinina.
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Vol. 29 • No. 3