Immunocytochemistry of GABA in the brain and suboesophageal ganglion of Manduca sexta

Uwe Homberg, Timothy G. Kingan, John G. Hildebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


We have used specific antisera against protein-conjugated γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in immunocytochemical preparations to investigate the distribution of putatively GABAergic neurons in the brain and suboesophageal ganglion of the sphinx moth Manduca sexta. About 20000 neurons per brain hemisphere exhibit GABA-immunoreactivity. Most of these are optic-lobe interneurons, especially morphologically centrifugal neurons of the lamina and tangential neurons that innervate the medulla or the lobula complex. Many GABA-immunoreactive neurons, among them giant fibers of the lobula plate, project into the median protocerebrum. Among prominent GABA-immunoreactive neurons of the median protocerebrum are about 150 putatively negative-feedback fibers of the mushroom body, innervating both the calyces and lobes, and a group of large, fan-shaped neurons of the lower division of the central body. Several commissures in the supra- and suboesophageal ganglion exhibit GABA-immunoreactivity. In the suboesophageal ganglion, a group of contralaterally descending neurons shows GABA-like immunoreactivity. The frontal ganglion is innervated by immunoreactive processes from the tritocerebrum but does not contain GABA-immunoreactive somata. With few exceptions the brain nerves do not contain GABA-immunoreactive fibers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1987


  • GABA
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Insect nervous system
  • Manduca sexta
  • Protocerebrum
  • Suboesophageal ganglion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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