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Science 336 (6081): 579-582

Copyright © 2012 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Imaginal Discs Secrete Insulin-Like Peptide 8 to Mediate Plasticity of Growth and Maturation

Andres Garelli,* Alisson M. Gontijo,* Veronica Miguela, Esther Caparros, Maria Dominguez{dagger}

Abstract: Developing animals frequently adjust their growth programs and/or their maturation or metamorphosis to compensate for growth disturbances (such as injury or tumor) and ensure normal adult size. Such plasticity entails tissue and organ communication to preserve their proportions and symmetry. Here, we show that imaginal discs autonomously activate DILP8, a Drosophila insulin-like peptide, to communicate abnormal growth and postpone maturation. DILP8 delays metamorphosis by inhibiting ecdysone biosynthesis, slowing growth in the imaginal discs, and generating normal-sized animals. Loss of dilp8 yields asymmetric individuals with an unusually large variation in size and a more varied time of maturation. Thus, DILP8 is a fundamental element of the hitherto ill-defined machinery governing the plasticity that ensures developmental stability and robustness.

Instituto de Neurociencias, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas–Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Sant Joan d’Alacant, 03550 Alicante, Spain.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: m.dominguez{at}

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