Adult neurogenesis in a moth brain (Englisch)

in The Journal of Comparative Neurology ; 495 , 5 ; 635-643
The Journal of Comparative Neurology


In both vertebrates and invertebrates, neurogenesis not only occurs during development but also persists throughout adult life. So far, adult neurogenesis has been detected in a few insect orders but not in Lepidoptera. In the moth, Agrotis ipsilon, the sensitivity of antennal lobe interneurons of males to sex pheromone is age‐ and juvenile hormone‐dependent in accordance with changes in the behavioral response. As a first step to understand this neuronal plasticity, we tested the hypothesis that adult neurogenesis could occur in the moth brain using 5‐bromo‐2′‐deoxyuridine injections on newly born and sexually mature moths. Our results show that persistent neurogenesis occurs in mushroom bodies of adult males and females of A. ipsilon. Two clusters of one to four neuroblasts in each brain hemisphere continue to divide in adult moths and give rise to small clusters of Kenyon cells in the cortex of the mushroom body calyces. Neurogenesis was observed in both newly born and sexually mature males. There was a clear increase in the number of newly born cells in brains as the time increased after the treatment that was performed soon after emergence. When treatments were performed in mature 3‐day‐old adults, neurogenesis was still detected in brains dissected 3 hours after treatment but was hardly visible 2 days later. Adult neurogenesis was also detected in the optic lobes but not in the antennal lobes. We hypothesize that the newly born neurons could play a role in the central nervous plasticity of olfactory processing in the adult moth A. ipsilon. J. Comp. Neurol. 495:635–643, 2006. © 2006 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

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