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Sprouting interneurons in mushroom bodies of adult cricket brains

Authors

  • Ashraf Mashaly,

    1. Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Universität Göttingen, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
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  • Margret Winkler,

    1. Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Universität Göttingen, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
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  • Ina Frambach,

    1. Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Universität Göttingen, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
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  • Heribert Gras,

    1. Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Universität Göttingen, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
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  • Friedrich-Wilhelm Schürmann

    Corresponding author
    1. Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Universität Göttingen, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
    • Johann-Friedrich-Blumenbach-Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie, Universität Göttingen, Berliner Straße 28, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
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  • Dedicated to Franz Huber, Starnberg, Bavaria, a pioneer of insect neurobiology.

Abstract

In crickets, neurogenesis persists throughout adulthood for certain local brain interneurons, the Kenyon cells in the mushroom bodies, which represent a prominent compartment for sensory integration, learning, and memory. Several classes of these neurons originate from a perikaryal layer, which includes a cluster of neuroblasts, surrounded by somata that provide the mushroom body's columnar neuropil. We describe the form, distribution, and cytology of Kenyon cell groups in the process of generation and growth in comparison to developed parts of the mushroom bodies in adult crickets of the species Gryllus bimaculatus. A subset of growing Kenyon cells with sprouting processes has been distinguished from adjacent Kenyon cells by its prominent f-actin labelling. Growth cone-like elements are detected in the perikaryal layer and in their associated sprouting fiber bundles. Sprouting fibers distant from the perikarya contain ribosomes and rough endoplasmic reticulum not found in the dendritic processes of the calyx. A core of sprouting Kenyon cell processes is devoid of synapses and is not invaded by extrinsic neuronal elements. Measurements of fiber cross-sections and counts of synapses and organelles suggest a continuous gradient of growth and maturation leading from the core of added new processes out to the periphery of mature Kenyon cell fiber groups. Our results are discussed in the context of Kenyon cell classification, growth dynamics, axonal fiber maturation, and function. J. Comp. Neurol. 508:153–174, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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