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J Comp Neurol. 2009 Aug 1;515(4):427-40. doi: 10.1002/cne.22086.

Neuronal fiber tracts connecting the brain and ventral nerve cord of the early Drosophila larva.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California Los Angeles, 90095, USA.

Abstract

By using a combination of dye injections, clonal labeling, and molecular markers, we have reconstructed the axonal connections between brain and ventral nerve cord of the first-instar Drosophila larva. Out of the approximately 1,400 neurons that form the early larval brain hemisphere, less than 50 cells have axons descending into the ventral nerve cord. Descending neurons fall into four topologically defined clusters located in the anteromedial, anterolateral, dorsal, and basoposterior brain, respectively. The anterolateral cluster represents a lineage derived from a single neuroblast. Terminations of descending neurons are almost exclusively found in the anterior part of the ventral nerve cord, represented by the gnathal and thoracic neuromeres. This region also contains small numbers of neurons with axons ascending into the brain. Terminals of the ascending axons are found in the same basal brain regions that also contain descending neurons. We have mapped ascending and descending axons to the previously described scaffold of longitudinal fiber tracts that interconnect different neuromeres of the ventral nerve cord and the brain. This work provides a structural framework for functional and genetic studies addressing the control of Drosophila larval behavior by brain circuits.

PMID:
19459219
PMCID:
PMC3950755
DOI:
10.1002/cne.22086
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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