Brain development in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti: a comparative immunocytochemical analysis using cross-reacting antibodies from Drosophila melanogaster
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- Mysore, K., Flister, S., Müller, P. et al. Dev Genes Evol (2011) 221: 281. doi:10.1007/s00427-011-0376-2
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Considerable effort has been directed towards understanding the organization and function of peripheral and central nervous system of disease vector mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti. To date, all of these investigations have been carried out on adults but none of the studies addressed the development of the nervous system during the larval and pupal stages in mosquitoes. Here, we first screen a set of 30 antibodies, which have been used to study brain development in Drosophila, and identify 13 of them cross-reacting and labeling epitopes in the developing brain of Aedes. We then use the identified antibodies in immunolabeling studies to characterize general neuroanatomical features of the developing brain and compare them with the well-studied model system, Drosophila melanogaster, in larval, pupal, and adult stages. Furthermore, we use immunolabeling to document the development of specific components of the Aedes brain, namely the optic lobes, the subesophageal neuropil, and serotonergic system of the subesophageal neuropil in more detail. Our study reveals prominent differences in the developing brain in the larval stage as compared to the pupal (and adult) stage of Aedes. The results also uncover interesting similarities and marked differences in brain development of Aedes as compared to Drosophila. Taken together, this investigation forms the basis for future cellular and molecular investigations of brain development in this important disease vector.