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Boyan, George; Herbert, Zsofia; Williams, Leslie (2010): Cell Death Shapes Embryonic Lineages of the Central Complex in the Grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria. In: Journal of Morphology, Vol. 271, No. 8: pp. 949-959
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We have investigated cell death in identified lineages of the central complex in the embryonic brain of the grasshopper Schistocerca gregaria. Progeny from these lineages lie in the pars intercerebralis and direct projections to the protocerebral bridge and then the central body via the w, x, y, z tracts. Osmium-ethyl gallate staining reveals pycnotic cells exclusively in cortical regions, and concentrated specifically within the lineages of the W, X, Y, Z neuroblasts. Minimal cell death occurs in a sporadic, nonpatterned manner, in other protocerebral regions. Immunohistochemistry reveals pycnotic cells express the enzyme cleaved Caspase-3 in their cytoplasm and are therefore undergoing programmed cell death (apoptosis). The number of pycnotic bodies in lineages of the pars intercerebralis varies with age: small numbers are present in the Y, Z lineages early in embryogenesis (42%), the number peaks at 67-80%, and then declines and disappears late in embryogenesis. Cell death may encompass up to 20% of a lineage at mid-embryogenesis. Peak cell death occurs shortly after maximum neurogenesis in the Y, Z lineages, and is maintained after neurogenesis has ceased in these lineages. Cell death within a lineage is patterned. Apoptosis is more pronounced among older cells and almost absent among younger cells. This suggests that specific subsets of progeny will be culled from these lineages, and we speculate about the effect of apoptosis on the biochemical profile of such lineages. J. Morphol. 271:949-959, 2010. (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.