Metamorphosis of the central nervous system of Drosophila

J Neurobiol. 1990 Oct;21(7):1072-84. doi: 10.1002/neu.480210711.


The study of the metamorphosis of the central nervous system of Drosophila focused on the ventral CNS. Many larval neurons are conserved through metamorphosis but they show pronounced remodeling of both central and peripheral processes. In general, transmitter expression appears to be conserved through metamorphosis but there are some examples of possible changes. Large numbers of new, adult-specific neurons are added to this basic complement of persisting larval cells. These cells are produced during larval life by embryonic neuroblasts that had persisted into the larval stage. These new neurons arrest their development soon after their birth but then mature into functional neurons during metamorphosis. Programmed cell death is also important for sculpting the adult CNS. One round of cell death occurs shortly after pupariation and a second one after the emergence of the adult fly.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Survival
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Larva
  • Metamorphosis, Biological*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Neurotransmitter Agents