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Ludwig, P.; Williams, L.; Boyan, George (2002): The pars intercerebralis of the locust brain: A developmental and comparative study. In: Microscopy Research and Technique, Vol. 56, No. 3: pp. 174-188
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dThe anterior midline of the brain, also known as the pars intercerebralis, contains the largest collection of neurosecretory cells in the central nervous system of the grasshopper. In this study, we use immunocytochemical, intracellular staining, and histological methods to establish the ontogenies of the various cell types in the brain midline, and show how these cells contribute to the pars intercerebralis of the adult brain. We show that the adult pars intercerebralis develops from three distinct embryonic cell groups: (1) the median neurosecretory cells, which derive from a subset of neuroblasts in the protocerebral hemispheres, and which project axons to the corpora cardiaca;(2) the paired primary commissure pioneers, which derive directly from the mesectoderm of the dorsal median domain and whose axons project to the ventral nerve cord via the midline tract;and (3) the six progeny of the median precursor in the dorsal median domain, which share a common axonal projection with the primary commissure pioneers. Since the adult pars intercerebralis is a fusion product of these independent cellular components, it can only be understood in terms of its origins in the embryonic brain. When the expression pattern of the TERM-1 antigen is compared in subsets of median neurosecretory cells in a wide range of insect orders, the results suggests a common organizational Bauplan for the pars intercerebralis. This hypothesis is supported by the identification of putative homologs of the grasshopper primary commissure pioneers in all these insects. (C) 2002 Wiley Liss, Inc.