Neuronal pathfinding in developing wings of the moth Manduca sexta

Dev Biol. 1983 Jan;95(1):163-74. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(83)90015-5.


The neural pattern of the moth wing is a simple two-dimensional network nestled between the two epithelial monolayers that form the upper and lower surfaces of the wing. All neural elements within the wing blade are sensory and their axons grow proximally toward the mesothoracic ganglion. The sensory nerves of the wing are intimately associated with the basal lamina of the upper epithelial layer; and the molding of neural pattern is coupled with cues in the basal lamina. The global landscape of the basal lamina can be altered by exchange of epithelial grafts. Axons generally cross control grafts as well as grafts that have been displaced distally. However, axons generally avoid grafts that have been transposed proximally. This asymmetric response of growing axons implies that directional cues in the substratum are also asymmetric along the length of the wing. The asymmetric, graded distribution of extracellular matrix molecules associated with the basal lamina of the wing's upper epithelium could provide the short-range cues that guide sensory axons in a particular direction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Cell Movement
  • Lepidoptera / growth & development*
  • Moths / anatomy & histology
  • Moths / growth & development*
  • Neural Pathways / growth & development
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology*
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Wings, Animal / growth & development
  • Wings, Animal / innervation*
  • Wings, Animal / transplantation