Studies on hypo- and hypercholesterolemia induced in insects by filipin Academic Article uri icon


  • The polyene antibiotic, filipin, can produce both hypocholesterolemic and hypercholesterolemic effects in insects. The type of cholesterolemia induced is dependent on the dietary molar ratio of filipin to cholesterol. When present in the diet at a filipin to cholesterol ratio of 38 : 1, cholesterol uptake by Manduca sexta larvae is reduced 99% and the concentration of haemolymph cholesterol is lowered 90%. However, at a dietary filipin to cholesterol ratio of 1 : 2, cholesterol uptake by tobacco hornworm larvae (M. sexta) is increased by 50% but the haemolymph cholesterol concentration is lower than control values. In addition, the concentration of sterol-carrying lipoproteins in the haemolymph is increased two-fold. At filipin to cholesterol ratios of 38 : 1, filipin increases excretion of unesterified cholesterol 8-fold. No effect on cholesterol esterification is noted with filipin, but cholesterol-sulfate excretion is reduced by 60 per cent. Excess dietary cholesterol (filipin to cholesterol ratio of 1 : 2) prevents these alterations in cholesterol excretion, but cholesterol-sulfate excretion remains lower than control values. Filipin is not absorbed in the digestive tract of Galleria mellonella or M. sexta larvae. More than 99% of ingested dietary [14C]filipin appears in the faeces. Most of the remaining radioactivity is found bound to the intestine. Injected filipin is rapidly excreted; 95 per cent of the injected [14C]filipin appears in faeces in less than 2 hr. Filipin is not metabolized to CO2. 1975.

published proceedings

  • Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

author list (cited authors)

  • Schroeder, F., & Bieber, L. L.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Schroeder, F||Bieber, LL

publication date

  • April 1975