Patterning of the antennal lobe of adult Drosophila occurs through a complex interaction between sensory neurons, glia, and central neurons of larval and adult origin. Neurons from the olfactory sense organs are organized into distinct fascicles lined by glial cells. The glia originate from one of the three types of sensory lineages-specified by the proneural gene atonal. Gain-of-function as well as loss-of-function analysis validates a role for cells of the Atonal lineage in the ordered fasciculation of sensory neurons. Upon entry of the antennal nerve to central regions, sensory neurons at first remain closely associated with central glia which lie around the periphery of the lobe anlage. Coincident with the arrival of sensory neurons into the brain, glial precursors undergo mitosis and neural precursors expressing Dachshund appear around the lobe. Sensory neurons and glial cells project into the lobe at around the same time and are likely to coordinate the correct localization of different glomeruli. The influence of sensory neurons on the development of the olfactory lobe could serve to match and lock peripheral and central properties important for the generation of olfactory behavior.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.