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Current hypotheses propose that, in the invertebrates, neuropeptide F (NPF), the vertebrate NPY homologue, may be capable of regulating responses to diverse cues related to nutritional status and feeding. An investigation into the effects of Drosophila melanogaster NPF (DrmNPF) and Anopheles gambiae NPF (AngNPF) on hindgut physiology of Rhodnius prolixus Stal (Heimptera: Reduviidae) suggests a myoinhibitory role for these peptides and the R. prolixus native peptide. Extracts of the central nervous system of R. prolixus were processed and several HPLC-fractions revealed NPF-like activity within the nanomolar equivalent range when tested using the hindgut contraction assay. Although NPF has been shown to decrease epithelial membrane potential in Aedes aegypti larval midgut preparations, NPF does not appear to play a role in epithelial transport of potassium in the hindgut. While the function of NPF has yet to be established, NPF-like effects suggest multiple physiological roles for NPF among invertebrates.
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