DEVELOPMENT OF AN ORALLY EFFECTIVE INSECT REPELLENT.
Quarterly progress rept. for 1 Feb-30 Apr 66,
IIT RESEARCH INST CHICAGO IL
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A hypothesis that could explain the mechanism of attraction of mosquitoes to mammals was proposed. The hypothesis involves the reversible binding of CO2 to GABA, a substance which mediates synaptic inhibition in many animal species. Experiments showed that GABA does indeed bind CO2 and that the binding is reversed by heating. Preliminary assays for GABA and GABA-CO2 complexes in the crayfish intestine proved negative, but the intestine preparation may not have been adequate to show the effects of the GABA-CO2 complexes. An electrical system was utilized whereby CO2 binding by GABA could be detected. A water vapor, GABA-CO2 model system was found to conform precisely with present knowledge of mosquito behavior. The need for water vapor for binding to occur indicates that bicarbonate ions, rather than dry CO2 are probably involved in the binding of CO2 to GABA. GABA was found by amino acid analysis to be the third most abundant free amino acid in mosquitoes. Author
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