In insects, olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) are located in cuticular sensilla, that are present on the antennae and on the maxillary palps. Their axons project into spherical neuropil, the glomeruli, which are characteristic structures in the primary olfactory center throughout the animal kingdom. ORNs in insects often respond specifically to single odor compounds. The projection patterns of these neurons within the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe, are, however, largely unknown. We developed a method to stain central projections of intact receptor neurons known to respond to host odor compounds in the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Terminal arborizations from ORNs from antennal sensilla had only a few branches apparently restricted to a single glomerulus. Axonal arborizations of the different neurons originating from the same sensillum did not overlap. ORNs originating from maxillary palp sensilla all projected into a dorso-medial area in both the ipsi- and contralateral antennal lobe, which received in no case axon terminals from antennal receptor neurons. Staining of maxillary palp receptor neurons in a second mosquito species (Aedes aegypti) revealed unilateral arborizations in an area at a similar position as in An. gambiae. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- malaria mosquito
- maxillary palp
- electrophysiological responses
- sensory map
- fly brain