Physiology and morphology of protocerebral olfactory neurons in the male moth Manduca sexta

J Comp Physiol A. 1991 Mar;168(3):281-98. doi: 10.1007/BF00198348.


1. We have used intracellular recording and staining with Lucifer Yellow, followed by reconstruction from serial sections, to characterize the responses and structure of olfactory neurons in the protocerebrum (PC) of the brain of the male sphinx moth Manduca sexta. 2. Many olfactory protocerebral neurons (PCNs) innervate a particular neuropil region lateral to the central body, the lateral accessory lobe (LAL), which appears to be important for processing olfactory information. 3. Each LAL is linked by its constituent neurons to the ipsilateral lateral PC, where projection neurons from the antennal lobe terminate, as well as to other regions of the PC. The LALs are also linked to each other by bilateral neurons with arborizations in each LAL. 4. Some PC neurons showed long-lasting excitation (LLE) that outlasted the olfactory stimuli by greater than or equal to 1 s, and as long as 30 s in some preparations. LLE was more frequently elicited by the sex-pheromone blend than by individual pheromone components. All bilateral neurons that showed LLE had arborizations in the LALs. LLE responses were also recorded in a single local neuron innervating the mushroom body. 5. In some other PC neurons, pheromonal stimuli elicited brief excitations that recovered to background firing rates less than 1 s after stimulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / ultrastructure
  • Flight, Animal
  • Isoquinolines
  • Male
  • Moths / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / ultrastructure
  • Pheromones / pharmacology
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • Isoquinolines
  • Pheromones
  • lucifer yellow