Changes in the activities and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes and detoxification enzymes in workers and ergatoid reproductives of Reticulitermes chinensis (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) DONG Ya-Nan, NIU Tong, WU Jia, WANG Chao, ZHANG He
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【Aim】 Social termite workers can differentiate into ergatoid reproductives to produce offsprings which is in favour of the fitness obtained. This study aims to explore the changes in the activities of antioxidant enzymes and detoxification enzymes related to oxidative stress and anti-aging when workers differentiate into ergatoid reproductives, so as to provide a reference for revealing the reproductive and anti-aging mechanism of reproductive castes of termites. 【Methods】 The activities of two antioxidant enzymes, catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and four detoxification enzymes, acid phosphatase (ACP), alkaline phosphatase (AKP), carboxylesterase (CarE) and cytochrome P450 (CYP450), in the workers, ergatoid reproductives and primary reproductives of Reticulitermes chinensis were measured by biochemical methods. Meanwhile, the expression levels of the corresponding genes of the above enzymes, RsCAT, RsSOD, RsACP, RsCYP450 and RsCarE, were assessed by qRT-PCR. 【Results】 The activities of CAT, SOD, ACP, AKP and CarE in ergtoid reproductives of R. chinensis were significantly higher than those in female workers, reaching 5.82, 1.41, 1.39, 2.27 and 2.70 times as high as those in female workers, respectively, but there was no significant difference in the CYP450 activity between the two castes. Also the expression levels of RsCAT, RsSOD, RsACP, RsCarE and RsCYP450 in ergtoid reproductives were significantly higher than those in workers. Compared with the primary reproductives, the ergatoid reproductives showed a significant increase in the activities of CAT and ACP. However, there was no significant difference in the activities of SOD and AKP between the two castes. The relative expression levels of RsCAT in female and male ergatoid reproductives were 5.68 and 3.60 times, respectively, and those o f RsACP in female and male ergatoid reproductives were 81.12 and 46.72 times, respectively, as high as those in primary reproductives. 【Conclusion】 The activities and gene expression levels of antioxidant enzymes and detoxification enzymes significantly increase after the termite workers of R. chinensis develop from nonreproductive caste to reproductive caste, revealing the anti-aging mechanism of reproductives to a certain extent.