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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1351
    Keywords: Cobalt staining ; Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry ; Immunohistochemistry ; Insect ; Neuromodulation
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The two Protocerebral-Medulla 4 neurons (PM4a and b) in the locust brain have adjacent cell bodies in the medial deutocerebrum. They project through the posterior protocerebrum, forming limited arborisations en route, and enter the lobula and medulla of the ipsilateral optic lobe, where they form extensive, overlapping arborisations. The PM4a and b neurons are octopamine immunoreactive. Their octopamine content (approximately 25 pg per cell) is confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; each cell contains approximately 25 pg p-octopamine. Simultaneous intracellular recording from exposed PM4a and b cell bodies reveals that the two cells are physiologically indistinguishable. They receive multimodal sensory inputs. Tactile/mechanosensory stimuli to much of the animal's body and head, acoustic stimuli, and simple visual stimuli all give rise to e.p.s.p.s and action potentials in the PM4 cell body. Simultaneous recording from the cell body in the deutocerebrum and the axon in the lobula demonstrates that action potentials are predominantly initiated in the deutocerebrum and propagate centrifugally, towards the optic lobe. Occasionally, bright light flashes will initiate an action potential in the axon in the optic stalk, which probably propagates bidirectionally: centripetally to the cell body, and centrifugally into the optic lobe. The extensive arborisations in the lobula and medulla are therefore likely to be sites of octopamine release. Because PM4 neurons are octopaminergic, project to the optic lobe, and receive modalities of sensory input known to dishabituate the Descending Contralateral Movement Detector (DCMD) visual interneuron, it is proposed that PM4 neurons are neuromodulatory — mediating dishabituation or arousal of the visual system.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-1351
    Keywords: Key words Acetylcholine ; Evolution ; Histamine ; Homology ; Insect ; Vasopressin
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The vasopressin-like immunoreactive (VPLI) neurons of grasshoppers have paired cell bodies in the suboesophageal ganglion and both anterior and posterior running axons. In non-oedipodine grasshopper species (e.g. Schistocerca gregaria), most of their arborisations are distributed in dorsal and lateral neuropil, while in oedipodine species (e.g. Locusta migratoria), the neurons have additional extensive axonal projections in both the optic lobes and proximal portions of the ganglionic peripheral nerves. This study demonstrates that these morphological differences correlate with their physiology. In L. migratoria, VPLI neuron activity is regulated primarily via a spontaneously active interneuron which descends from the brain. This descending interneuron is inhibited by a light-activated brain extraocular photoreceptor. Regulation of VPLI neuron activity by an extraocular photoreceptor is also seen in the other oedipodine grasshopper investigated. In the four non-oedipodines examined (from two subfamilies), we find no extraocular photoreceptor regulation of VPLI neuron activity. Despite this, VPLI neuron in S.␣gregaria does appear to be driven by a descending interneuron homologous to that in L. migratoria. The descending interneuron in both species receives similar mechanosensory input and excites the VPLI neuron via cholinergic synapses. Histamine injection into the medial protocerebrum of both species causes strong inhibition of the descending interneuron. The evolution of the neural circuitry, by which an extraocular photoreceptor comes to regulate the descending interneuron in oedipodine species, is discussed.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1351
    Keywords: Locust ; Neuroanatomy ; Immunohisto ; chemistry ; Vasopressin-like peptides
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary Antiserum to arginine-vasopressin has been used to characterise the pair of vasopressin-like immunoreactive (VPLI) neurons in the locust. These neurons have cell bodies in the suboesophageal ganglion, each with a bifurcating dorsal lateral axon which gives rise to predominantly dorsal neuropilar branching in every ganglion of the ventral nerve cord. There are extensive beaded fibre plexuses in most peripheral nerves of thoracic and abdominal ganglia, but in the brain, the peripheral plexuses are reduced while neuropilar branching is more extensive, although it generally remains superficial. An array of fibres runs centripetally through the laminamedulla chiasma in the optic lobes. Lucifer Yellow or cobalt intracellular staining of single VPLI cells in the adult suboesophageal ganglion shows that all immunoreactive processes emanate from these two neurons, but an additional midline arborisation (that was only partially revealed by immunostaining) was also observed. Intracellularly staining VPLI cells in smaller larval instars, which permits dye to reach the thoracic ganglia, confirms that there is no similar region of poorly-immunoreactive midline arborisation in these ganglia. It has been previously suggested that the immunoreactive superficial fibres and peripheral plexuses in ventral cord ganglia serve a neurohaemal function, releasing the locust vasopressin-like diuretic hormone, F2. We suggest that the other major region of VPLI arborisation, the poorly immunoreactive midline fibres in the suboesophageal ganglion, could be a region where VPLI cells receive synaptic input. The function of the centripetal array of fibres within the optic lobe is still unclear.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1351
    Keywords: Locust ; Vasopressin-like peptides ; Diuresis ; Extra-ocular photoreceptor
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Summary The two vasopressin-like immunoreactive (VPLI) neurons of the locust, Locusta migratoria, have cell bodies in the suboesophageal ganglion and extensive arborizations throughout the CNS. One of the two peptides responsible for AVP-like immunoreactivity is a vasopressin-related peptide with putative ‘diuretic hormone’ properties. These neurons also have FLRF-like immunoreactivity, probably due to the FMRF-amide-related peptide, SchistoFLRF-amide, isolated from Schistocerca gregaria. This peptide has cardioinhibitory activity and a dual potentiation/inhibition of slow motoneuron induced muscle-twitch tension. Although haemolymph AVP-like peptide titre fluctuates under various conditions, the mechanism that regulates neurohaemal release of this peptide is not understood. Very little is known of the release of SchistoFLRF-amide. We have used intracellular recording from VPLI neurons in vivo to reveal synaptic inputs that lead to changes in their level of spiking activity, and probably, release of both the AVP-like peptides and SchistoFLRF-amide. This pair of neurosecretory cells has a major, common excitatory input whose sustained rate of activity is inversely related to light intensity; VPLI spiking activity, driven by this input, is greater in the dark than in light. This input is from a pair of descending brain interneurons. Their light-sensitivity persists after ablation of compound eyes, optic lobes and ocelli, showing them to be part of an extra-ocular photoreceptor system. Attempts to record from, and individually stain, the descending neuron have been unsuccessful, although its axon location and diameter in the circumoesophageal connective have been determined. Possible locations for its cell body have been identified; one region, close to the pars intercerebralis, is known to be photosensitive in some insects. Mechanosensory stimuli also lead to brief increases in VPLI spiking activity via the descending interneuron, though this modality rapidly habituates. We detect no changes in VPLI spiking activity that consistently correlate with the osmolality of perfusion salines; such changes might have been expected from their previously proposed role in water homeostasis. Alternative roles for VPLI cells are discussed.
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