Organization of local interneurons in optic glomeruli of the dipterous visual system and comparisons with the antennal lobes

Dev Neurobiol. 2007 Sep 1;67(10):1267-88. doi: 10.1002/dneu.20396.


The lateral protocerebrum of the fly's brain is composed of a system of optic glomeruli, the organization of which compares to that of antennal lobe glomeruli. Each optic glomerulus receives converging axon terminals from a unique ensemble of optic lobe output neurons. Glomeruli are interconnected by systems of spiking and nonspiking local interneurons that are morphologically similar to diffuse and polarized local interneurons in the antennal lobes. GABA-like immunoreactive processes richly supply optic glomeruli, which are also invaded by processes originating from the midbrain and subesophageal ganglia. These arrangements support the suggestion that circuits amongst optic glomeruli refine and elaborate visual information carried by optic lobe outputs, relaying data to long-axoned neurons that extend to other parts of the central nervous system including thoracic ganglia. The representation in optic glomeruli of other modalities suggests that gating of visual information by other sensory inputs, a phenomenon documented from the recordings of descending neurons, could occur before the descending neuron dendrites. The present results demonstrate that future studies must consider the roles of other senses in visual processing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cell Shape / physiology
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Diptera / cytology*
  • Diptera / physiology
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / physiology
  • Ganglia, Invertebrate / ultrastructure
  • Interneurons / cytology*
  • Interneurons / physiology
  • Neuropil / cytology
  • Neuropil / physiology
  • Optic Lobe, Nonmammalian / cytology*
  • Optic Lobe, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / cytology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid