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Pioneer neurons of the antennal nervous system project to protocerebral pioneers in the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria

Dev Genes Evol 225: 377-82. doi: 10.1007/s00427-015-0519-y. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Authors/Editors: Boyan G
Ehrhardt E
Publication Date: 2015
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 2001 - 2017

Abstract

The twin nerve tracts of the antenna of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria are established early in embryogenesis by sibling pairs of pioneers which delaminate from the epithelium into the lumen at the antennal tip. These cells can be uniquely identified via their co-expression of the neuronal labels horseradish peroxidase and the lipocalin Lazarillo. The apical pioneers direct axons toward the antennal base where they encounter guidepost-like cells called base pioneers which transiently express the same molecular labels as the apical pioneers. To what extent the pioneer growth cones then progress into the brain neuropil proper, and what their targets there might be, has remained unclear. In this study, we show that the apical antennal pioneers project centrally beyond the antennal base first into the deutocerebral, and then into the protocerebral brain neuropils. In the protocerebrum, we identify their target circuitry as being identified Lazarillo-positive cells which themselves pioneer the primary axon scaffold of the brain. The apical and base antennal pioneers therefore form part of a molecularly contiguous pathway from the periphery to an identified central circuit of the embryonic grasshopper brain.

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