During metamorphosis in the hawkmoth Manduca sexta, muscles of the abdominal body wall undergo a reorganization. Many die at the end of the larval life and are replaced in the adult by newly generated muscles. We have identified several of the motoneurons innervating these muscles and followed them through metamorphosis. The morphology of larval motoneurons is correlated with their target location. Those with medial targets have bilateral dendritic fields, whereas those with lateral targets have dendrites restricted to one side of the segmental ganglion. Some motoneurons innervate the same muscle in all stages of life, but the majority lose their targets following entry into the pupal stage. Although some of the latter group also die at this time, most survive to innervate a new adult target. These 'respecified' motoneurons undergo a period of dramatic dendritic growth during metamorphosis. The results demonstrate that these identified neurons are capable, under the appropriate conditions of existing in more than one stable morphology.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - 1985|
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