Background: Mosquito-borne viruses are transmitted to human hosts via blood-feeding behavior of female mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes seek a host to take blood meals (host-seeking behavior). In order to prevent virus infections, it is important to understand how they modulate host-seeking behavior. Dopamine (DA) in the central nervous system acts as a neuromediator that regulates a variety of behaviors in insects. In female mosquitoes, host-seeking behavior increases when DA levels in the head decline after emergence. However, it remains unclear whether DA directly modulates host-seeking behavior in female mosquitoes. The aim of this study was to examine whether changes in DA levels in the head affects host-seeking activity in the adult female mosquito Aedes albopictus (Ae. albopictus). Findings: We compared host-seeking behavior in one group of emerging female adults treated with L-β-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), the precursor of DA, (L-DOPA group), with that in an untreated control (control group) after confirming elevation of head DA in L-DOPA group by using high-performance liquid chromatography. The content of head DA in L-DOPA group significantly remained higher than that in controls on all days examined. The host-seeking activity in the control group showed a gradual increase over the 6-day experimental period. In contrast, there was no such increase in the host-seeking activity in the L-DOPA group. Therefore, the host-seeking activity of L-DOPA group was significantly lower than that of the controls between day 3 and 6 post-emergence. Conclusion: Our results indicate that elevation of DA level reduces host-seeking activity in adult female mosquito Ae. albopictus. © 2012 Wang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Fukumitsu, Y., Irie, K., Satho, T., Aonuma, H., Dieng, H., Ahmad, A. H., … Miake, F. (2012). Elevation of dopamine level reduces host-seeking activity in the adult female mosquito Aedes albopictus. Parasites and Vectors, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-5-92