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Building the antennal lobe: engrailed expression reveals a contribution from protocerebral neuroblasts in the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria

Arthropod Struct Dev 29: 267-74

Authors/Editors: Boyan G
Williams L
Publication Date: 2000
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 1976 - 2000
The expression pattern of the engrailed protein was studied in neuroblasts which delaminate at the border of the protocerebrum and antennal lobe of the deutocerebrum in the early embryonic brain of the grasshopper. The antennal lobe is a complex structure comprising both glomerular and non-glomerular components, a cellular organization which distinguishes it from the striate-like neuropil comprising the remainder of the deutocerebrum. Early in embryogenesis engrailed expression in the protocerebrum is restricted to a compact block of neuroblasts located at its interface with the antennal lobe. Subsequently engrailed expression in these cells disappears in a stepwise manner from anterior to posterior so that by 37% of embryogenesis only a single row of three engrailed positive neuroblasts and their progeny remains. Contemporaneously engrailed expression reappears in a group of more anterior progeny deriving from neuroblasts which are no longer immunoreactive. The three remaining engrailed positive neuroblasts then become separated from their non-immunoreactive neighbours by an invagination of the perineurium called the lateral cleft and come to lie completely within the developing antennal lobe. These cells then direct columns of immunoreactive progeny centrifugally towards the centre of the lobe. Such a protocerebral contribution to the antennal lobe suggests that the evolution and ontogeny of this brain region need to be reconsidered.

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