Neuroarchitecture of the central complex of the desert locust: Tangential neurons.J Comp Neurol 2019JC
The central complex (CX) comprises a group of midline neuropils in the insect brain, consisting of the protocerebral bridge (PB), the upper (CBU) and lower division (CBL) of the central body and a pair of globular noduli. It receives prominent input from the visual system and plays a major role in spatial orientation of the animals. Vertical slices and horizontal layers of the CX are formed by columnar, tangential, and pontine neurons. While pontine and columnar neurons have been analyzed in detail, especially in the fruit fly and desert locust, understanding of the organization of tangential cells is still rudimentary. As a basis for future functional studies, we have studied the morphologies of tangential neurons of the CX of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria. Intracellular dye injections revealed 43 different types of tangential neuron, 8 of the PB, 5 of the CBL, 24 of the CBU, 2 of the noduli, and 4 innervating multiple substructures. Cell bodies of these neurons were located in 11 different clusters in the cell body rind. Judging from the presence of fine versus beaded terminals, the vast majority of these neurons provide input into the CX, especially from the lateral complex (LX), the superior protocerebrum, the posterior slope, and other surrounding brain areas, but not directly from the mushroom bodies. Connections are largely subunit- and partly layer-specific. No direct connections were found between the CBU and the CBL. Instead, both subdivisions are connected in parallel with the PB and distinct layers of the noduli.