A neuroanatomical study on the organization of the central antennal pathways in insects

Cell Tissue Res. 1977 Jan 20;176(3):285-306. doi: 10.1007/BF00221789.


Receptor cell axons from the antennal flagellum terminate in the glomeruli of the ipsilateral deutocerebrum in Periplaneta americana and Locusta migratoria. Processes from several groups of deutocerebral neurons also enter the glomeruli and terminate in characteristic branching patterns. There, they contact the antennal axons. Connections are both convergent and divergent. Not only do single central neurons collect the inputs from many receptor cells, but receptor axons were often observed to branch and terminate at more than one deutocerebral neuron. The axons from a portion of the neurons go to form the deutocerebral bundle of the tractus olfactorio-globularis. These axons of the bundle terminate in the ipsilateral calyx of the corpus pedunculatum and in the lateral lobus protocerebri. The processes of the majority of the deutocerebral neurons stay within the deutocerebrum itself and may serve as local interneurons. Part of some antennal fibers terminate in the lobus dorsalis. The lobus glomeratus receives inputs from the maxillary palps and also from processess of deutocerebral neurons. Electron microscopy of synaptic connections and anatomical experiments reveal a complicated pattern of connections between receptor axons and higher order neurons as well as between higher order neurons themselves within the glomeruli. The ratio of the number of antennal fibers to that of relay fibers could easily lead to the interpretation, that the deutocerebrum merely serves as a device for reducing the number of transmission channels. However, coupled with physiological data, anatomical details such as con- and divergence of input and interconnections between input channels suggest rather a filtering system and a highly complicated integrative network.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / cytology*
  • Animals
  • Cockroaches / cytology*
  • Grasshoppers / cytology*
  • Male
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Periplaneta / cytology*