Juvenile hormone (JH) esterases can be artificially induced to appear in the hemolymph of last instar larvae of the lepidopterous insect Trichoplusia ni (Noctuidae) by topical treatment with JH I, JH II, or dihomo branched juvenoids. ETB (ethyl-4-[2-(t-butylcarbonyloxy) butoxy] benzoate; ZR-2646) at high doses is a weak inducer of JH esterase (JHE). However, at doses of ETB that induce only low levels of JHE activity, ETB will block the JHE induction caused by the dihomo juvenoid epofenonane and at higher doses will reduce the induction caused by JH I or JH II. ETB is not a JHE inhibitor; rather, it appears to be acting as a JH agonist/antagonist in normal larvae and in isolated abdomens. These effects of ETB on JHE induction may illustrate a new mode of action of anti-JH's.
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