Changes in neuronal circuits during insect metamorphosis.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During metamorphosis insects undergo dramatic changes in both form and behaviour. Cell birth and death, as well as neurone respecification all contribute to the overall reorganization of the nervous system. Within the visual and chemosensory processing areas of the insect brain large numbers of newly-generated adult neurones are incorporated into the larval nervous system. In the abdominal ganglia, however, identified larval neurones are retained to assume a new adult role. This respecification of motor neurone function involves not only the acquisition of a new target muscle, but also the reorganization of dendritic morphology, and alterations in the interconnections between neurones. For example, an identified abdominal motor neurone in the hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, grows new dendritic processes and changes its synaptic relationship with an abdominal stretch receptor such that an interaction that was inhibitory during larval life, becomes excitatory in the adult. In another example, identified sensory neurones that evoke a larval flexion behaviour, later participate in the defense gin trap reflex that is characteristic of the pupa. In both instances the formation of new pathways is a two-step process in that the new circuits do not become behaviourally relevant as they are formed, but instead are activated abruptly at the appropriate time. For the gin trap reflex an identified peptide hormone is responsible for activating the circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-44
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume112
StatePublished - Sep 1984
Externally publishedYes

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metamorphosis
Insects
neurons
insect
nervous system
Neurons
insects
Motor Neurons
motor neurons
reflexes
Nervous System
Reflex
traps
pupa
Manduca
abdominal ganglia
peptide hormones
peptide
Pupa
Mechanoreceptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Changes in neuronal circuits during insect metamorphosis. / Levine, Richard B.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 112, 09.1984, p. 27-44.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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