An antiserum against crustacean cardioactive peptide was used, in indirect immunocytochemistry on whole‐mounts and Vibratome sections, to map immunoreactive neurons at various stages of postembryonic development of the hawkmoth Manduca sexta. About 90 immunoreactive neurons were identified. Many of these cells are immunoreactive at hatching and persist into the adult stage; others become immunoreactive late in postembryonic development. During adult development, transient immunoreactivity is expressed in several cells in the subesophageal and thoracic ganglia. Two sets of immunoreactive neurons are found in the protocerebrum of larvae, but only one of these sets persists into the adult stage. Paired lateral interneurons and neurosecretory neurons are segmentally repeated in the abdominal ganglia and are present from the first larval stage to the adult; the abdominal interneurons project contralaterally to arborizations in adjacent ganglia, and some ascend to tritocerebral arborizations. The abdominal neurosecretory cells, which correspond to a pair of cells reported to contain bursicon, project posteriorly to neurohemal release organs. Motor neurons of dorsal external oblique abdominal muscles become immunoreactive in the fourth larval stage. Paired median neurosecretory cells of abdominal ganglia become immunoreactive during the fifth larval stage. The immunoreactive median and lateral abdominal neurosecretory cells are a subset of a group of cells known to contain cardioactive peptides. Paired lateral neurosecretory cells of the subesophageal ganglion become immunoreactive during pupation and project to the corpor cardiaca and aorta of the adult. Many of the neurons identified here are comparable to crustacean cardioactive peptide‐immunoreactive cells described previously in locusts and the mealworm beetle. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- identified neuron
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