Multiple factors shape development of olfactory glomeruli: Insights from an insect model system

Lynne A. Oland, Leslie P Tolbert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The antennal system of the moth Manduca sexta is a useful model for studies of the development of olfactory glomeruli, the complex synaptic structures that typically underlie the initial processing of olfactory input in vertebrates and invertebrates. In this review, we summarize cellular events in the construction of glomeruli in Manduca and highlight experiments that reveal factors that influence glomerulus development. By methodically manipulating each of various cell types, both neuronal and glial, that contribute to glomerular architecture, we have found that: olfactory receptor axons lay a template for developing glomeruli, stabilization of the template by glial cells is necessary to permit subsequent steps in development of the glomeruli, and the hormone that regulates adult development causes production of adequate numbers of glial cells. Neither electrical activity nor the presence of a serotonin-containing neuron that persists throughout development is required for a glomerular pattern to develop; these factors might, however, influence the synaptic organization of individual glomeruli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-109
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1996


  • Manduca sexta
  • afferent (sensory) axons
  • antenna
  • glia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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