Synaptic organization of the uniglomerular projection neurons of the antennal lobe of the moth Manduca sexta: A laser scanning confocal and electron microscopic study

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Abstract

The detailed branching pattern and synaptic organization of the uniglomerular projection neurons of the antennal lobe, the first processing center of the olfactory pathway, of the moth Manduca sexta were studied with laser scanning confocal microscopy and a technique combining laser scanning confocal microscopy and electron microscopy. Uniglomerular projection neurons, identified electrophysiologically or morphologically, were stained intracellularly with neurobiotin or biocytin. Brains containing the injected neurons were treated with streptavidin-immunogold to label the injected material for electron microscopy and with Cy3-streptavidin to lable the neurons with fluorescence for laser scanning confocal microscopy, and then embedded in Epon. Labeled neurons were imaged and reconstructed with laser scanning confocal microscopy (based on the retained fluorescence of the labeled neuron in the Epon block), and thin sections were cut at selected optical levels for correlation of light microscopic data and electron microscopic detail. Each neuron had a cell body in one of the three cell- body clusters of the antennal lobe, a primary neurite that extended across the coarse neuropil at the center of the antennal lobe and then formed a dense tuft of processes within a single glomerulus, and an axon that emanated from the primary neurite and projected from the antennal lobe via the antenno-cerebral tract to the lateral horn of the ipsilateral protocerebrum and, collaterally, to the calyces of the mushroom body. In the electron microscope, the fine dendritic branches in the apical zones of the glomeruli, where sensory axons terminate, were found to receive many input synapses. In deeper layers across the glomeruli, the processes participated in both input and output synapses, and at the bases of the glomeruli, the most proximal, thickest branches formed output synapses. In both of the protocerebral areas in which axonal branches terminated, those branches formed exclusively output synapses. Our findings indicate that, in addition to conveying olfactory information to the protocerebrum, uniglomerular projection neurons in the antennal lobes of M. sexta participate in local intraglomerular synaptic circuitry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-20
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume379
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 1997

Keywords

  • biocytin
  • insect
  • neurobiotin
  • olfaction
  • ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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