Glomerulus development in the absence of a set of mitral-like neurons in the insect olfactory lobe

Lynne A. Oland, Leslie P Tolbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Mitral cells are the first neurons in the mammalian olfactory bulb to synapse with olfactory receptor axons during glomerulus development, and in an invertebrate, the moth Manduca sexta, mitral-like neurons overlap very early with olfactory receptor axons as they begin to form protoglomeruli. The possibility for early interaction between receptor neurons and mitral-like neurons led us to ask whether such an interaction plays an essential role in glomerulus development. In the current study in the moth, we surgically removed a major class of these mitral-like neurons before glomeruli began to form and asked: (a) Is the formation of the array of olfactory glomeruli triggered by an interaction of the first-arriving receptor axons with the dendrites of mitral-like neurons? (b) At the level of individual glomeruli, must the mitral-like dendrites be in place either to maintain receptor axons in a glomerular arrangement, or to guide later-growing dendrites of other types into the developing glomeruli? Our results indicate that even without the participation of this group of mitral-like neurons, the array of sexually isomorphic ordinary glomeruli forms and the basic substructure of individual glomeruli develops apparently normally. We conclude that the mitral-like neurons in Manduca are not essential for the formation of ordinary olfactory glomeruli during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Antennal lobe
  • Laser scanning confocal microscopy
  • Manduca sexta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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