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Boyan, George; Liu, Yu (2014): Timelines in the insect brain: fates of identified neural stem cells generating the central complex in the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria. In: Development Genes and Evolution, Vol. 224, No. 1: pp. 37-51
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This study employs labels for cell proliferation and cell death, as well as classical histology to examine the fates of all eight neural stem cells (neuroblasts) whose progeny generate the central complex of the grasshopper brain during embryogenesis. These neuroblasts delaminate from the neuroectoderm between 25 and 30 % of embryogenesis and form a linear array running from ventral (neuroblasts Z, Y, X, and W) to dorsal (neuroblasts 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, and 1-5) along the medial border of each protocerebral hemisphere. Their stereotypic location within the array, characteristic size, and nuclear morphologies, identify these neuroblasts up to about 70 % of embryogenesis after which cell shrinkage and shape changes render progressively more cells histologically unrecognizable. Molecular labels show all neuroblasts in the array are proliferative up to 70 % of embryogenesis, but subsequently first the more ventral cells (72-75 %), and then the dorsal ones (77-80 %), cease proliferation. By contrast, neuroblasts elsewhere in the brain and optic lobe remain proliferative. Apoptosis markers label the more ventral neuroblasts first (70-72 %), then the dorsal cells (77 %), and the absence of any labeling thereafter confirms that central complex neuroblasts have exited the cell cycle via programmed cell death. Our data reveal appearance, proliferation, and cell death proceeding as successive waves from ventral to dorsal along the array of neuroblasts. The resulting timelines offer a temporal blueprint for building the neuroarchitecture of the various modules of the central complex.