Our nervous systems and behavior are shaped by hormonally driven developmental changes that continue beyond the embryonic period. Key insights into this process have emerged from studies of the insect nervous system. During insect metamorphosis, the nervous system is remodeled through postembryonic neurogenesis, programmed cell death and the modification of persistent neurons. These changes are regulated to a large degree by gene cascades that are triggered by steroid hormones, the ecdysteroids. Current studies are attempting to reveal the molecular mechanisms involved in regulating these dramatic examples of developmental plasticity.
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