Neuroblast lineage-specific origin of the neurons of the Drosophila larval olfactory system


The complete neuronal repertoire of the central brain of Drosophila originates from only approximately 100 pairs of neural stem cells, or neuroblasts. Each neuroblast produces a highly stereotyped lineage of neurons which innervate specific compartments of the brain. Neuroblasts undergo two rounds of mitotic activity: embryonic divisions produce lineages of primary neurons that build the larval nervous system; after a brief quiescence, the neuroblasts go through a second round of divisions in larval stage to produce secondary neurons which are integrated into the adult nervous system. Here we investigate the lineages that are associated with the larval antennal lobe, one of the most widely studied neuronal systems in fly. We find that the same five neuroblasts responsible for the adult antennal lobe also produce the antennal lobe of the larval brain. However, there are notable differences in the composition of larval (primary) lineages and their adult (secondary) counterparts. Significantly, in the adult, two lineages (lNB/BAlc and adNB/BAmv3) produce uniglomerular projection neurons connecting the antennal lobe with the mushroom body and lateral horn; another lineage, vNB/BAla1, generates multiglomerular neurons reaching the lateral horn directly. lNB/BAlc, as well as a fourth lineage, vlNB/BAla2, generate a diversity of local interneurons. We describe a fifth, previously unknown lineage, BAlp4, which connects the posterior part of the antennal lobe and the neighboring tritocerebrum (gustatory center) with a higher brain center located adjacent to the mushroom body. In the larva, only one of these lineages, adNB/BAmv3, generates all uniglomerular projection neurons. Also as in the adult, lNB/BAlc and vlNB/BAla2 produce local interneurons which, in terms of diversity in architecture and transmitter expression, resemble their adult counterparts. In addition, lineages lNB/BAlc and vNB/BAla1, as well as the newly described BAlp4, form numerous types of projection neurons which along the same major axon pathways (antennal tracts) used by the antennal projection neurons, but which form connections that include regions outside the "classical" olfactory circuit triad antennal lobe-mushroom body-lateral horn. Our work will benefit functional studies of the larval olfactory circuit, and shed light on the relationship between larval and adult neurons.

Journal details

Volume 373
Issue number 2
Pages 322-337
Publication date