Immunocytochemistry of GABA in the antennal lobes of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta

Sally G. Hoskins, Uwe Homberg, Timothy G. Kingan, Thomas A. Christensen, John G. Hildebrand

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180 Scopus citations


We have prepared and characterized specific rabbit antisera against γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) coupled covalently to bovine serum albumin and keyhole-limpet hemocyanin. Using these antisera in immunocytochemical staining procedures, we have probed the antennal lobes and their afferent and efferent fiber tracts in the sphinx moth Manduca sexta for GABA-like immunoreactivity in order to map putatively GABAergic central neurons in the central antennal-sensory pathway. About 30% of the neuronal somata in the large lateral group of cell bodies in the antennal lobe are GABA-immunoreactive; cells in the medial and anterior groups of antennal-lobe cells did not exhibit GABA-like immunoreactivity. GABA-immunoreactive neurites had arborizations in all of the glomeruli in the antennal lobe. Double-labeling experiments involving tandem intracellular staining with Lucifer Yellow and immunocytochemical staining for GABA-like immunoreactivity demonstrated that at least some of the GABA-immunoreactive cells in the antennal lobe are amacrine local interneurons. Several fiber tracts that carry axons of antennal-lobe projection neurons exhibited GABA-immunoreactive fibers. Among the possibly GABA-containing projection neurons are several cells, with somata in the lateral group of the antennal lobe, that send their axons directly to the lateral protocerebmm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1986


  • Antennal lobe
  • GABA-immunocytochemistry
  • Insect nervous system
  • Manduca sexta
  • Olfactory system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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