Neuroblast ablation in Drosophila P[GAL4] lines reveals origins of olfactory interneurons

J Neurobiol. 1997 May;32(5):443-56. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4695(199705)32:5<443::aid-neu1>;2-5.


Hydroxyurea (HU) treatment of early first instar larvae in Drosophila was previously shown to ablate a single dividing lateral neuroblast (LNb) in the brain. Early larval HU application to P[GAL4] strains that label specific neuron types enabled us to identify the origins of the two major classes of interneurons in the olfactory system. HU treatment resulted in the loss of antennal lobe local interneurons and of a subset of relay interneurons (RI), elements usually projecting to the calyx and the lateral protocerebrum (LPR). Other RI were resistant to HU and still projected to the LPR. However, they formed no collaterals in the calyx region (which was also ablated), suggesting that their survival does not depend on targets in the calyx. Hence, the ablated interneurons were derived from the LNb, whereas the HU-resistant elements originated from neuroblasts which begin to divide later in larval life. Developmental GAL4 expression patterns suggested that differentiated RI are present at the larval stage already and may be retained through metamorphosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Lineage / physiology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Denervation
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / genetics
  • Female
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Hydroxyurea / pharmacology
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Larva / cytology
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Male
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • GAL4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Hydroxyurea