Rodney Kwok

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Are you Rodney Kwok?

Claim your profile

Publications (13)23.95 Total impact

  • R. Kwok · S.M. Chan · S.S. Tobe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A growing number of peptides have been sequenced from the decapods and the terrestrial isopods. The first sequenced crustacean neuropeptides were the chromatophorotrophic hormones, pigment dispersing hormone (PDH) and red pigment concentrating hormone (RPCH). In crustaceans, proctolin has been identified as one of many neuropeptides present in the stomatogastric nervous system (STNS), where it is involved in modulating neural pattern generation. The peptide crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP, named for its excitatory activity on the crustacean heart, has been shown to have excitatory effects on other invertebrate muscles. It is released into the hemolymph in large amounts during ecdysis, when it is likely involved in coordinating a number of physiological and behavioral processes, including the regulation of hemolymph pressure and flow, the potentiation of muscular force, and postecdysial ventilatory behavior to increase hemolymph. Crustacean peptides are known to regulate a range of physiological functions, including color change, metabolic function, metamorphosis, development, and reproduction.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2006

  • No preview · Chapter · Dec 2006
  • Rodney Kwok · Stephen S Tobe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The hemolymph of invertebrates contains factors that facilitate clotting as a defense mechanism for injury. However, the clotting process may impair the measurement of hormone titers by interfering with the extraction of peptides. Using hemolymph from freshwater crayfish, our results demonstrate that hemolymph clotting appears to reduce both the amount of an endogenous peptide(s) (Dippu-AST 11-like) extracted from hemolymph, as well as the amount of spiked peptide tracer ([125I]-Dippu-AST 11) recovered from hemolymph. The efficacy of peptide extraction from hemolymph was improved by collecting the hemolymph into a variety of different media prior to hemolymph coagulation. Hemolymph samples collected into media containing the anticoagulant, citrate, had the highest amount of endogenous Dippu-AST 11-like peptide extracted as well as the highest percent recovery of spiked tracer.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2006 · Peptides
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Manduca sexta allatotropin (Manse-AT) was first isolated on the basis of its ability to stimulate production of juvenile hormone in that insect. We examined whether this neuropeptide affects corpus allatum activity and visceral muscle contraction in adult females of the earwig, Euborellia annulipes. We also assessed the presence of allatotropin-like material in tissues using immunocytochemistry. Manse-AT at 1 nM to 10 muM stimulated juvenile hormone production in vitro by glands of low activity from 2-day virgin females. In glands of high activity from 12-day mated females, 1 and 100 nM allatotropin were effective, but 10 muM was not. Similarly, hindguts of 2-day and 12-day females significantly increased in motility in vitro in response to Manse-AT. A monoclonal antibody to Manse-AT was used to demonstrate allatotropin-like material throughout the nervous system of 2-day, virgin females. Immunoreactivity was most pronounced within varicosities of the corpora cardiaca and perisympathetic organs. No immunofluorescence was observed in gut tissue. Lastly, we showed that extract of retrocerebral complexes also enhanced in vitro hindgut motility from 2-day virgin females, in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicate material similar to M. sexta allatotropin in female earwigs and that such peptides may modulate juvenile hormone biosynthesis and visceral muscle contractions. Sensitivity to the peptides may change with physiological stage.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2005 · Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: s are listed in alphabetical order by the last name of the senior author.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2005 · Journal of Insect Science
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes, allatostatins (ASTs) with the C-terminus Phe-Gly Leu-amide were localized by immunocytochemistry with antibody against a cockroach AST, Dippu AST-7. AST-immunoreactivity occurred in the corpus cardiacum and corpus allatum and in the lateral and medial neurosecretory cells of the brain that innervate these organs as well as in many other nerve cells of the brain. This was observed in workers, nymphs, soldiers and secondary reproductives. A radioimmunoassay, using anti-Dippu AST-11, demonstrated about 40 fmole equivalents of AST in brains of soldiers and secondary reproductives. The product of the corpora allata in this species was determined to be juvenile hormone III. Its synthesis by corpora allata of secondary reproductives, determined by in vitro radiochemical assay, was inhibited in a dose-dependent fashion by two cockroach allatostatins, Dippu AST-7 and Dippu AST-11. Thus, as in cockroaches and crickets, allatostatin-containing nerves innervate the corpora allata of this termite species and their production of juvenile hormone is inhibited by these neuropeptides.
    No preview · Article · May 2005 · Journal of Insect Physiology
  • Rodney Kwok · Jin Rui Zhang · Stephen S Tobe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Decapod crustaceans do not appear to produce juvenile hormone, but rather its immediate precursor, methyl farnesoate (MF). Both MF and its immediate precursor, farnesoic acid (FA) are produced by the mandibular organs (MO) in crustaceans. The MO are homologous to the insect corpora allata (CA), the site of juvenile hormone biosynthesis. However, the FGLamide allatostatin (ASTs) peptides, of which there are about 60 distinct forms reported from crustaceans, have previously been found to have no effect on MO activity in crustaceans. We have identified by immunocytochemistry the presence of FGLamide-like AST immunoreactivity in neurosecretory cells throughout the CNS as well as in neurohaemal structures such as the sinus gland and pericardial organs. The ASTs are likely delivered to the MO hormonally and/or by local neurohaemal release. Using MO from adult males, we have found wide variability between animals in the in vitro rates of MF and FA biosynthesis. Treatment with Dippu-ASTs has a statistically significant stimulatory effect on MF synthesis, but only in MO that are initially producing MF at lower rates. No effect on FA production was observed, suggesting that the FGLamide ASTs exert their effect on the o-methyl transferase, the enzyme responsible for the conversion of FA to MF.
    No preview · Article · May 2005 · Journal of Insect Physiology
  • Rodney Kwok · J RUIZHANG · Stephen S. Tobe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Decapod crustaceans do not appear to produce juvenile hormone, but rather its immediate precursor, methyl farnesoate (MF). Both MF and its immediate precursor, farnesoic acid (FA) are produced by the mandibular organs (MO) in crustaceans. The MO are homologous to the insect corpora allata (CA), the site of juvenile hormone biosynthesis. However, the FGLamide allatostatin (ASTs) peptides, of which there are about 60 distinct forms reported from crustaceans, have previously been found to have no effect on MO activity in crustaceans. We have identified by immunocytochemistry the presence of FGLamide-like AST immunoreactivity in neurosecretory cells throughout the CNS as well as in neurohaemal structures such as the sinus gland and pericardial organs. The ASTs are likely delivered to the MO hormonally and/or by local neurohaemal release. Using MO from adult males, we have found wide variability between animals in the in vitro rates of MF and FA biosynthesis. Treatment with Dippu-ASTs has a statistically significant stimulatory effect on MF synthesis, but only in MO that are initially producing MF at lower rates. No effect on FA production was observed, suggesting that the FGLamide ASTs exert their effect on the o-methyl transferase, the enzyme responsible for the conversion of FA to MF. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2005 · Journal of Insect Physiology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes, allatostatins (ASTs) with the C-terminus Phe-Gly Leu-amide were localized by immunocytochemistry with antibody against a cockroach AST, Dippu AST-7. AST-immunoreactivity occurred in the corpus cardiacum and corpus allatum and in the lateral and medial neurosecretory cells of the brain that innervate these organs as well as in many other nerve cells of the brain. This was observed in workers, nymphs, soldiers and secondary reproductives. A radioimmunoassay, using anti-Dippu AST-11, demonstrated about 40 fmole equivalents of AST in brains of soldiers and secondary reproductives. The product of the corpora allata in this species was determined to be juvenile hormone III. Its synthesis by corpora allata of secondary reproductives, determined by in vitro radiochemical assay, was inhibited in a dose-dependent fashion by two cockroach allatostatins, Dippu AST-7 and Dippu AST-11. Thus, as in cockroaches and crickets, allatostatin-containing nerves innervate the corpora allata of this termite species and their production of juvenile hormone is inhibited by these neuropeptides. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2005 · Journal of Insect Physiology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The invertebrate tachykinin-related peptides (TRPs) with the conserved C-terminal sequence FX1GX2Ramide shows sequence similarity to the vertebrate tachykinins after which they are named, and are hypothesized to be ancestrally related. In this study a polyclonal antiserum generated against a locust tachykinin (LomTK I), was used to demonstrate the presence and describe the distribution of LomTK-like immnoreactivity in the CNS and gut of Rhodnius prolixus. Reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) was used in combination with a sensitive radioimmunoassay (RIA) to demonstrate picomolar amounts of immunoreactive material in the CNS, and femptomolar amounts associated with the hindgut. Furthermore, the results from CNS extracts separated by RP-HPLC, suggest that at least two tachykinin isoforms exist in R. prolixus. A hindgut contraction assay was developed to quantify the myotropic effects of selected LomTKs on R. prolixus hindgut contraction. Both LomTK I and II caused an increase in the frequency of hindgut contractions with EC50 values of 3.6x10(-8)M and 3.8x10(-8)M for LomTK I and II, respectively.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2005 · Peptides
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: s are listed in alphabetical order by the last name of the senior author.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2004 · Journal of Insect Science
  • Rodney Kwok · Ian Orchard
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have developed a semi-intact preparation-consisting of an isolated oviduct with abdominal ganglia VII and VIII intact and attached-with which to characterize the effects on oviduct contraction, of peptides that are bath applied to CNS tissues. The work presented here offers a qualitative analysis of the central effects of SchistoFLRFamide and proctolin upon action potentials recorded from the oviducal nerves and upon oviduct contraction. In the process of this, we hope to demonstrate that a previously characterized putative CNS SchistoFLRFamide receptor [Peptides 23 (2002) 765] is a functional receptor.SchistoFLRFamide (10(-6)M), bath applied to abdominal ganglion VII, caused an increase in action potential frequencies recorded from the oviducal nerves, as well as an increase in the frequency of phasic contractions of the oviduct. Although the function of this response is not known, these results further support the possibility that the putative CNS SchistoFLRFamide receptors are functional receptors. Proctolin (10(-6)M), bath applied to abdominal ganglion VIII, altered the rhythmic bursting of action potentials recorded from the oviducal nerve and changed the appearance and cycle duration of neurogenic oviduct contractions.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2002 · Peptides
  • Rodney Kwok · Ian Orchard
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A putative SchistoFLRFamide receptor in CNS membrane preparations of Locusta migratoria was characterized by cold competition binding and kinetic binding assays using [125I][Y(1)]SchistoFLRFamide ([125I]YDVDHVFLRFamide) as a radioligand. Binding to this site was saturable, specific, reversible, and of high-affinity. Data fit to a single-site binding model by non-linear regression (r(2) = 0.99) estimated K(d) = 1.73 +/- 0.45 x 10(-9) M and B(max) = 49.0 +/- 12.2 fmol.mg(-1) tissue. Total binding of [125I][Y(1)]SchistoFLRFamide to membrane preparations was reduced in the presence of GTPgammaS, an indication that the putative receptor is G protein-coupled. Structure-activity studies determined that the minimum sequence required for binding was HVFLRFamide. Other aspects of the ligand receptor interaction were also examined.
    No preview · Article · May 2002 · Peptides