Journal article
Ultrastructure of pigment-dispersing hormone-immunoreactive neurons in a three-dimensional model of the accessory medulla of the cockroach Leucophaea maderae.



Publication Details
Authors:
Stengl, M.
Publication year:
2003
Journal:
Cell and Tissue Research
Pages range:
421-435
Volume number:
314
ISSN:
0302-766X

Abstract
Locomotor activity rhythms of the cockroach Leucophaea maderae are orchestrated by two bilaterally symmetric, mutually coupled, circadian pacemakers. They lie in the optic lobes of the brain and are confined to the accessory medulla (AMe), ventro-medially to the medulla. The AMe is innervated by approximately 12 pigment-dispersing hormone (PDH)-immunoreactive anterior medulla neurons (PDHMe), which are circadian pacemaker candidates in the fruitfly and the cockroach. We have developed a three-dimensional computer model of the AMe and associated structures as a framework for neuroanatomical studies. Our greatly improved understanding of this structure in space has allowed us further to subdivide the anterior PDHMe into three subgroups, i.e., large, medium-sized, and small anterior PDHMe. The synaptic connections of two of these subgroups have been examined within subcompartments of the AMe by light and electron microscopy. The large, intensely staining, anterior PDHMe contain medium-sized dense-core vesicles and form input and output synapses with profiles densely filled with clear vesicles primarily in the anterior and shell neuropil of the AMe. The medium-sized anterior PDHMe contain large dense-core vesicles and constitute input and output synapses either with profiles being densely filled with clear vesicles, or with profiles containing granular dense-core vesicles. The small, weakly staining anterior PDHMe belong to a morphological group different from the large and medium-sized PDHMe and cannot be further identified at the electron-microscopic level because of their weak PDH immunoreactivity.


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