Vibration-processing interneurons in the honeybee brain

Front Syst Neurosci. 2010 Jan 4;3:19. doi: 10.3389/neuro.06.019.2009. eCollection 2010.


The afferents of the Johnston's organ (JO) in the honeybee brain send their axons to three distinct areas, the dorsal lobe, the dorsal subesophageal ganglion (DL-dSEG), and the posterior protocerebral lobe (PPL), suggesting that vibratory signals detected by the JO are processed differentially in these primary sensory centers. The morphological and physiological characteristics of interneurons arborizing in these areas were studied by intracellular recording and staining. DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2 have dense arborizations in the DL-dSEG and respond to vibratory stimulation applied to the JO in either tonic excitatory, on-off-phasic excitatory, or tonic inhibitory patterns. PPL-D-1 has dense arborizations in the PPL, sends axons into the ventral nerve cord (VNC), and responds to vibratory stimulation and olfactory stimulation simultaneously applied to the antennae in long-lasting excitatory pattern. These results show that there are at least two parallel pathways for vibration processing through the DL-dSEG and the PPL. In this study, Honeybee Standard Brain was used as the common reference, and the morphology of two types of interneurons (DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2) and JO afferents was merged into the standard brain based on the boundary of several neuropiles, greatly supporting the understanding of the spatial relationship between these identified neurons and JO afferents. The visualization of the region where the JO afferents are closely appositioned to these DL interneurons demonstrated the difference in putative synaptic regions between the JO afferents and these DL interneurons (DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2) in the DL. The neural circuits related to the vibration-processing interneurons are discussed.

Keywords: audition; brain; honeybee standard brain (HSB); integration; olfaction; parallel processing; waggle dance.