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Astrocyte-like glia associated with the embryonic development of the central complex in the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria

Dev Genes Evol 221: 141-55

Authors/Editors: Boyan G
Loser M
Williams L
Liu Y
Publication Date: 2011
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 2001 - 2018

Abstract

In this study we employed the expression of the astrocyte-specific enzyme glutamine synthetase, in addition to the glia-specific marker Repo, to characterize glia cell types associated with the embryonic development of the central complex in the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria. Double labeling experiments reveal that all glutamine synthetase-positive cells associated with the central complex are also Repo-positive and horseradish peroxidase-negative, confirming they are glia. Early in embryogenesis, prior to development of the central complex, glia form a continuous population extending from the pars intercerebralis into the region of the commissural fascicles. Subsequently, these glia redisperse to envelop each of the modules of the central complex. No glial somata are found within the central complex neuropils themselves. Since glutamine synthetase is expressed cortically in glia, it allows their processes as well as their soma locations to be visualized. Single cell reconstructions reveal one population of glia as directing extensive ensheathing processes around central complex neuropils such as the central body, while another population projects columnar-like arborizations within the central body. Such arborizations are only seen in central complex modules after their neuroarchitecture has been established suggesting that the glial arborizations project onto a prior scaffold of neurons or tracheae.

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