Neuropeptides are a diverse widespread class of signaling substances in the nervous system. As a basis for the analysis of peptidergic neurotransmission in the insect olfactory system, we have studied the distribution of neuropeptides in the antennal lobe of the moth Heliothis virescens. Immunocytochemical experiments with antisera recognizing A-type allatostatins (AST-As), Manduca sexta allatotropin (Mas-AT), FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs), and tachykinin-related peptides (TKRPs) have shown that members of all four peptide families are present in local interneurons of the antennal lobe. Whereas antisera against AST-As, Mas-AT, and FaRPs give similar staining patterns characterized by dense meshworks of processes confined to the core of all antennal-lobe glomeruli, TKRPs are present only in neurons with blebby processes distributed throughout each glomerulus. In addition to local neurons, a pair of centrifugal neurons with cell bodies in the lateral subesophageal ganglion, arborizations in the antennal lobe, and projections in the inner antenno-cerebral tracts exhibits tachykinin immunostaining. Double-label immunofluorescence has detected the co-localization of AST-As, Mas-AT, and FaRPs in certain local interneurons, whereas TKRPs occurs in a distinct population. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry has revealed nearly 50 mass peaks in the antennal lobe. Seven of these masses (four AST-As, two N-terminally extended FLRFamides, and Mas-AT) match known moth neuropeptides. The data thus show that local interneurons of the moth antennal lobe are highly differentiated with respect to their neuropeptide content. The antennal lobe therefore represents an ideal preparation for the future analysis of peptide signaling in insect brain.
Pubmed ID: 17013588 RIS Download
Mesh terms: Animals | Brain Chemistry | FMRFamide | Female | Immunohistochemistry | Insect Hormones | Insect Proteins | Male | Moths | Neuropeptides | Olfactory Pathways | Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization | Tachykinins
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