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Lazarillo expression reveals a subset of neurons contributing to the primary axon scaffold of the embryonic brain of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria

J Comp Neurol 419: 394-405

Authors/Editors: Graf S
Ludwig P
Boyan G
Publication Date: 2000
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 1976 - 2000
The authors studied the contribution of seven clusters of Lazarillo-expressing cells to the primary axon scaffold of the brain in the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria from 26% to 43% of embryogenesis. Each cluster, which was numbered according to when Lazarillo expression first appeared, was uniquely identifiable on the basis of its stereotypic position in the brain and the number of Lazarillo-expressing cells it contained. At no time during embryogenesis was Lazarillo expression found in brain neuroblasts: It was found only in progeny. For ease of analysis, axogenesis was followed in a cell cluster that contained only a single Lazarillo-expressing cell (the lateral cell) in the dorsal median domain of the brain midline. Bromodeoxyuridine incorporation revealed the presence of only a single midline precursor cell in this region during embryogenesis. Intracellular injection of Lucifer yellow into the lateral cell at various ages showed that there was no dye coupling to the midline precursor or to the nearby term-1-expressing primary commissure pioneers. The lateral cell is not related lineally to these cells and most likely differentiates directly from the neuroectoderm of the brain midline. Lazarillo expression appears at the onset of axogenesis as the lateral cell projects an axon laterally toward the next Lazarillo-expressing cell cluster. The cells of this target cluster direct axons into separate brain regions, thereby establishing an orthogonally organized scaffold that the lateral cell axon follows as it navigates away from the brain midline. The primary axon scaffold of the brain results from a stepwise interlinking of discrete brain regions, as exemplified by axons from neighboring Lazarillo-expressing cell clusters.

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