Synaptic organization and development of the antennal lobe in insects

J. Boeckh, L. P. Tolbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Many insects possess a highly developed sense of smell. This paper summarizes the cellular and synaptic organization of the antennal (olfactory) lobe of the insect brain and then reviews morphological and finestructural aspects of the development of the lobe. Visualization of synapses between classes of neurons identified by physiological, morphological, or transmittercytochemical properties has provided insights into arrangements of contacts and their possible roles in information processing. Studies of development have revealed the requirement for afferent axons from the antenna for the formation of olfactory glomeruli, where virtually all of the synapses in the lobe occur, and have suggested the possibility that glial cells play a role in the instructive influence of the axons on their target neurons in the lobe. The findings reviewed in this paper are primarily from one representative hemimetabolous insect, the American cockroach, and one representative holometabolous insect, a hawkmoth, and comparisons are made with vertebrate systems when appropriate.1993 WileyLiss, Inc. Copyright1993 WileyLiss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-280
Number of pages21
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron microscopy
  • Glial cells
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Invertebrate brain
  • Neural development
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurons
  • Olfactory system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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