Near the time of pupation, autofluorescent kynurenine globules appear in the cells in the anterior region of the fatbody of Drosophila melanogaster. It has been reported previously that kynurenine synthesis may be induced in an additional group of fat cells by feeding the precursor tryptophan to Drosophila larvae, and that this induction of kynurenine production viewed within the fat cells is correlated with an increase in tryptophan pyrrolase activity. In the present report, conditions are outlined which result in the appearance of kynurenine in all of the fat cells. The number of cells in the fatbody which contain kynurenine is influenced by the quantity of tryptophan included in the diet, as well as by the developmental stage at the time of treatment and the duration of the feeding period on the inducer. Physical barriers modifying permeability, such as the membranous layer noted surrounding the fatbody, may be a factor in the regulation of the time and nature of the cellular induction of kynurenine synthesis. Another factor to be considered is the possibility of interference with the availability of tryptophan as a substrate or inducer for this synthesis within the cell. It is suggested that the occurrence of pteridines in some of the fat cells may modify the response of these cells to produce kynurenine, since pteridines as electron acceptors can complex with tryptophan as an electron donor. Kynurenine may be produced in the fat cells under in vitro conditions when they are incubated with L-tryptophan, but kynurenine is not formed when fat cells are incubated with D-tryptophan. The in vitro studies further demonstrate that induction of kynurenine synthesis may occur in fat cells isolated from young larvae in contrast, to in vivo conditions in which inducer does not effect an earlier appearance of kynurenine in the larval fatbody.

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