The circadian pacemaker of the Madeira cockroach, Rhyparobia (Leucophaea) maderae, is located in the accessory medulla (AME). Ipsi- and contralateral histaminergic compound eyes are required for photic entrainment. Light pulses delay locomotor activity rhythm during the early night and advance it during the late night. Thus, different neuronal pathways might relay either light-dependent delays or advances to the clock. Injections of neuroactive substances combined with running-wheel assays suggested that GABA, pigment-dispersing factor, myoinhibitory peptides (MIPs), and orcokinins (ORCs) were part of both entrainment pathways, whereas allatotropin (AT) only delayed locomotor rhythms at the early night. To characterize photic entrainment further, histamine and corazonin were injected. Histamine injections resulted in light-like phase delays and advances, indicating that the neurotransmitter of the compound eyes participates in both entrainment pathways. Because injections of corazonin only advanced during the late subjective night, it was hypothesized that corazonin is only part of the advance pathway. Multiple-label immunocytochemistry in combination with neurobiotin backfills demonstrated that a single cell expressed corazonin in the optic lobes that belonged to the group of medial AME interneurons. It colocalized GABA and MIP but not AT or ORC immunoreactivity. Corazonin-immunoreactive (-ir) terminals overlapped with projections of putatively light-sensitive interneurons from the ipsi- and contralateral compound eye. Thus, we hypothesize that the corazonin-ir medial neuron integrates ipsi- and contralateral light information as part of the phase-advancing light entrainment pathway to the circadian clock. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1250-1272, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The sequence as well as the distribution pattern of SIFamide in the brain of different insects is highly conserved. As a general rule, at least four prominent SIFamide-immunoreactive somata occur in the pars intercerebralis. They arborize throughout the brain and the ventral nerve cord. Whereas SIFamide is implicated in mating and sleep regulation in Drosophila, other functions of this peptide remain largely unknown. To determine whether SIFamide plays a role in the circadian system of cockroaches, we studied SIFamide in Rhyparobia (= Leucophaea) maderae (Blaberidae), Periplaneta americana (Blattidae), and Therea petiveriana (Polyphagidae). Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry revealed identical SIFamide sequences (TYRKPPFNGSIFamide) in the three species. In addition to four large immunoreactive cells in the pars intercerebralis (group 1), smaller SIFamide-immunoreactive somata were detected in the pars intercerebralis (group 2), in the superior median protocerebrum (group 3), and in the lateral protocerebrum (group 4). Additional cells in the optic lobe (group 5) and posterior protocerebrum (group 6) were stained only in P. americana. Almost the entire protocerebrum was filled with a beaded network of SIFamide-immunoreactive processes that especially strongly invaded the upper unit of the central body. Double-label experiments did not confirm colocalizations with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or the circadian coupling peptide pigment-dispersing factor (PDF). In contrast to locusts, colocalization of SIFamide and histamine immunoreactivity occurred not in group 1, but in group 4 cells. Because the accessory medulla displayed SIFamide immunoreactivity and injections of SIFamide delayed locomotor activity rhythms circadian time-dependently, SIFamide plays a role in the circadian system of cockroaches. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1337-1360, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.