Motor neurons of grasshopper metathoracic ganglion occur in stereotypic anatomical groups

J Comp Neurol. 1990 Jul 8;297(2):298-312. doi: 10.1002/cne.902970211.


Anatomical groups containing identified motor neurons of the main muscles of the legs and the wings are described in a segmental ganglion of the adult grasshopper. The groups occur reproducibly in ganglia of different individuals and are a simplifying and organizing feature of ganglionic morphology. The motor neurons within each group have cell bodies near each other in the cortex of the ganglion and primary neurites that enter the ganglionic core as a discrete bundle. The primary neurite bundles are distinctive in shape and position and have the same composition in every individual, despite variations in the positions of the cell bodies of the contributing motor neurons. The primary neurite bundle of a group is separate from those of other groups and separate from bundles of motor axons that exit or sensory axons that enter the ganglion. Each group of cell bodies in the cortex appears from light microscope examination to be held separately within a glial surround. Areas of glial cell cytoplasm may extend considerably beyond the boundaries of the neuronal cell bodies, to give shape and structural integrity to the cortex. Similarities between the morphology of the adult groups reported here and the descriptions by others of embryonic and larval nervous systems suggest to us that the motor neurons of each group are the progeny of a single neuroblast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cell Line
  • Cobalt
  • Female
  • Ganglia / cytology*
  • Grasshoppers / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Motor Neurons / cytology*
  • Motor Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Neuroglia / ultrastructure
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Thorax / innervation*


  • Cobalt