Distinct projections of two populations of olfactory receptor axons in the antennal lobe of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta

Thomas A. Christensen, Ian D. Harrow, Christine Cuzzocrea, Peggy W. Randolph, John G. Hildebrand

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66 Scopus citations


The central projections of olfactory receptor cells associated with two distinct types of antennal sensilla in the sphinx moth Manduca sexta were revealed by anterograde staining. In both sexes, receptor axons that arise from sexually isomorphic, type-II trichoid sensilla (and possibly some basiconic sensilla) project to the spheroidal glomeruli in the ipsilateral antennal lobe. Each axon terminates in one glomerulus. Axons from a limited region of the antenna project to glomeruli throughout the lobe, arguing against strict topographic mapping of antennal receptor cells onto the array of glomeruli. Axons of sex-pheromone-selective receptor cells in the male-specific type-I trichoid sensilla project exclusively to the sexually dimorphic macroglomerular complex (MGC). Axons from sensilla on the dorsal surface of the antenna are biased toward the medial MGC and those from ventral sensilla, toward the lateral MGC. Some receptor-cell axons branch before reaching the MGC, but their terminals are always confined to one of the two main glomerular divisions of the MGC, the cumulus and toroid. These findings confirm that primary-afferent information about pheromonal and non-pheromonal odors is segregated in the antennal lobe and suggest that there is a functional correspondence between particular olfactory receptor cells and specific glomeruli. Chem. Senses 20: 313-323, 1995.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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