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Postembryonic development of sexually dimorphic glomeruli and related interneurons in the cockroach Periplaneta americana


Postembryonic development of sexually dimorphic glomeruli and related interneurons in the cockroach Periplaneta americana



Neuroscience Letters 469(1): 60-64



ISSN/ISBN: 0304-3940

PMID: 19931594

DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.11.044

In most insects, sex pheromone is processed by an enlarged glomerular complex (macroglomerular complex, MGC) in the male antennal lobe (first-order olfactory center). The MGC of the American cockroach consists of two closely located A- and B-glomeruli which are responsible for processing the major sex pheromone components, periplanone-A and -B, respectively. Using anterograde dye injection, we investigated sexual dimorphism in sensory afferents and interneuron. The A- and B-glomeruli exist in the first larval instar of both sexes. The female MGC homolog grows at a relatively constant rate (1.2-1.8-fold growth per molt) throughout development, whereas the male MGC shows a period of accelerated growth between the fifth and ninth instars, where volume can be more than double in a single molt. These different growth patterns resulted in a 1:30 ratio in glomerular complex volumes of adult females versus males. In the female MGC homolog, afferents originating from the dorsal and ventral antennal surfaces were biased toward anterior and posterior regions, and segregation of these afferents was less clear compared to the adult male. The staining of interneurons projecting to the protocerebrum revealed that projection patterns characteristic of sex pheromone processing appear in the late eighth instar in males, while possibly homologous projections in the female were far fewer in number. These results suggest that the glomerular complexes in pre-eighth larval males, and probably females, are not differentiated for specific detection of sex pheromone. Male-specific projections for sex pheromone detection may be formed by modification of pre-existing neural circuitry.

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