Proliferation pattern of postembryonic neuroblasts in the brain of Drosophila melanogaster

Dev Biol. 1992 Jan;149(1):134-48. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(92)90270-q.


The spatio-temporal proliferation pattern of postembryonic neuroblasts in the central brain region of the supra-esophageal ganglion of Drosophila melanogaster was studied by labeling DNA replicating cells with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). There are five proliferating neuroblasts per hemisphere in larvae just after hatching: one in the ventro-lateral, and the other four in the postero-dorsal region of the brain. Dividing neuroblasts increase during the late first-late second instar larval stages, reaching a plateau of about 85 neuroblasts per hemisphere. Most neuroblasts cease dividing 20-30 hr after puparium formation (APF), while only four in the postero-dorsal region continue making progenies until 85-90 hr APF. The four distinct neuroblasts proliferating in the early larval and late pupal stages are identical; they lie in the cortex above the calyces of the mushroom bodies (corpora pedunculata), proliferating over a period twice as long as that for the other neuroblasts. Their daughter neurons project into the mushroom body neuropile, and hence are likely to be the Kenyon cells. The cell-cycle period of the four neuroblasts (named mushroom body neuroblasts: MBNbs) is rather constant (1.1-1.5 hr) during the mid larval-early pupal stages and is longer before and after that. The total number of the MBNb progenies made throughout the embryonic and postembryonic development was estimated to be 800-1200 per hemisphere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / pharmacology
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • DNA Replication
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development*
  • Larva / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pupa / cytology


  • DNA
  • Bromodeoxyuridine