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J Comp Neurol. 1994 May 22;343(4):617-29.

Distribution of input synapses from processes exhibiting GABA- or glutamate-like immunoreactivity onto terminals of prosternal filiform afferents in the locust.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Wales College of Cardiff.


The locust prosternum carries a population of long filiform hairs that are very sensitive to air currents. The sensory afferent neurones that innervate the hairs make strong monosynaptic connections with an identified intersegmental interneurone (A4I1) which is known to contact motor neurones that supply muscles controlling wing angle during flight. In order discover how the synapse between the afferents and interneurone A4I1 might be modulated, the afferents were labelled intracellularly by backfilling with horseradish peroxidase to reveal their central terminals which lie in the prothoracic ganglion. A postembedding immunogold method was used to make a quantitative assessment of the prevalence of immunoreactivity for GABA and glutamate in processes presynaptic to the afferent terminals. In one afferent neurone, where 77 synapses were examined, 40 (52%) of the presynaptic processes were immunoreactive for GABA. When adjacent sections through the same terminal branches were labelled with the two antibodies, it was demonstrated that GABA- and glutamate-like immunoreactivity was present in different populations of presynaptic processes. A series of 110 ultrathin sections was cut through one set of afferent terminal branches and alternate grids were stained with GABA and glutamate antibodies. From these sections, the terminals were reconstructed and the position of 35 input and 21 output synapses mapped. Of the 35 input synapses, 18 (51%) were immunoreactive for GABA, 14 (40%) were immunoreactive for glutamate and 3 (9%) were unlabelled by either antibody. On these terminals, the different classes of input synapses appeared to be intermingled at random with the output synapses made by the afferent, and no pattern governing synapse distribution could be discerned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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