Axons of olfactory receptor cells of transsexually grafted antennae induce development of sexually dimorphic glomeruli in Manduca sexta

Wolfgang Rössler, Peggy W. Randolph, Leslie P. Tolbert, John G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

The influence of olfactory receptor cell (ORC) axons from transsexually grafted antennae on the development of glomeruli in the antennal lobes (ALs), the primary olfactory centers, was studied in the moth Manduca sexta. Normally during metamorphic adult development, the pheromone-specific macroglomerular complex (MGC) forms only in the ALs of males, whereas two lateral female-specific glomeruli (LFGs) develop exclusively in females. A female AL innervated by ORC axons from a grafted male antenna developed an MGC with three glomeruli, like the MGC of a normal male AL. Conversely, a male AL innervated by ORC axons from a grafted female antenna lacked the MGC but exhibited LFGs. ORC axons from grafted male antenna terminated in the MGC-specific target area, even in cases when the antennal nerve (AN) entered the AL via an abnormal route. Within ectopic neuromas formed by ANs that had become misrouted and failed to enter the brain, male-specific axons were not organized and formed terminal branches in many areas. The results suggest the presence of guidance cues within the AL for male-specific ORC axons. Depending on the sex of the antennal innervation, glial borders formed in a pattern characteristic of the MGC or LFGs. The sex-specific number of projection neurons (PNs) in the medial group of AL neurons remained unaffected by the antennal graft, but significant changes occurred in the organization of PN arborizations. In gynandromorphic females, LFG-specific PNs extended processes into the induced MGC, whereas in gynandromorphic males, PNs became restricted to the LFGs. The results indicate that male-and female-specific ORC axons play important roles in determining the position, anatomical features, and innervation of sexually dimorphic glomeruli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-541
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 8 1999

Keywords

  • Antennal lobe
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Insect
  • Macroglomerular complex
  • Pheromone
  • Plasticity
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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