Peptide products of the atrial gland are not water-borne reproductive pheromones during egg laying in Aplysia

David B.G. Akalal, Scott F. Cummins, Sherry D. Painter, Gregg T. Nagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Mate attraction in Aplysia involves long-distance water-borne signaling via the secretion of the peptide pheromone attractin from the exocrine albumen gland during egg laying. Previous studies have shown that a second exocrine organ, the atrial gland, produces abundant egg-laying hormone (ELH) precursor-related peptides and mollusk-derived growth factor (MDGF), and crude extracts of the atrial gland are attractive in T-maze attraction assays. However, it is not known whether these peptides and proteins are secreted during egg laying. In this report, seawater eluates of freshly laid egg cordons were concentrated and fractionated by C18 RP-HPLC, and the resulting major peaks were examined by amino acid compositional analysis, microsequence analysis, and electrospray mass spectrometry. Concentrated egg cordon eluates were also examined by immunoblot analysis using anti-MDGF antisera as probe. The combined data demonstrated that the atrial gland of Aplysia californica does not secrete detectable levels of either ELH precursor-related peptides or MDGF during egg laying. Although the atrial gland is the last major exocrine organ to make contact with eggs before they are laid, the gland does not appear to secrete water-borne peptide pheromones during egg laying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1122
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • ADA
  • Adenosine deaminase
  • Adenosine deaminase-related growth factor
  • Aplysia
  • Atrial gland
  • Egg-laying hormone
  • MDGF
  • Mollusk-derived growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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