Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 320, Issue 1, pp 149–162 | Cite as

Development of A-type allatostatin immunoreactivity in antennal lobe neurons of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta

  • Sandra Utz
  • Joachim Schachtner
Regular Article


The antennal lobe (AL) of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta is a well-established model system for studying mechanisms of neuronal development. To understand whether neuropeptides are suited to playing a role during AL development, we have studied the cellular localization and temporal expression pattern of neuropeptides of the A-type allatostatin family. Based on morphology and developmental appearance, we distinguished four types of AST-A-immunoreactive cell types. The majority of the cells were local interneurons of the AL (type Ia) which acquired AST-A immunostaining in a complex pattern consisting of three rising (RI–RIII) and two declining phases (DI, DII). Type Ib neurons consisted of two local neurons with large cell bodies not appearing before 7/8 days after pupal ecdysis (P7/P8). Types II and III neurons accounted for single centrifugal neurons, with type II neurons present in the larva and disappearing in the early pupa. The type III neuron did not appear before P7/P8. RI and RII coincided with the rises of the ecdysteroid hemolymph titer. Artificially shifting the pupal 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) peak to an earlier developmental time point resulted in the precocious appearance of AST-A immunostaining in types Ia, Ib, and III neurons. This result supports the hypothesis that the pupal rise in 20E plays a role in AST-A expression during AL development. Because of their early appearance in newly forming glomeruli, AST-A-immunoreactive fibers could be involved in glomerulus formation. Diffuse AST-A labeling during early AL development is discussed as a possible signal providing information for ingrowing olfactory receptor neurons.


Neuropeptide Y/FXFGLamide Metamorphosis Olfactory system Hormonal regulation Sphinx moth Manduca sexta (Insecta) 



The authors thank Drs. Hans Agricola (University of Jena, Germany), Kaushiki P. Menon (CALTECH, USA), and Philip F. Copenhaver (OHSU, USA) for kindly providing the allatostatin antiserum, the synaptotagmin antibody, and the fasciclin II antiserum, respectively. The authors are also grateful to Drs. Uwe Homberg, Frank Seeber, and Wolf Huetteroth for discussions and comments on the manuscript and to Sabine Jesberg and Karin Müller for expert technical assistance.


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© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Animal PhysiologyPhilipps UniversityMarburgGermany

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