|Sittertz-Bhatkar, Helga - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: Journal of Molecular Neuroscience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 26, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Nerve cells that produce compounds called neuropeptides were found in the antennae of the mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Because these cells were also found in another mosquito, Culex salinarius, they may be a characteristic of mosquitoes. Neuropeptides have been found to regulate many vital life processes in insects such as water balance, hunger, digestion, and desire to seek mates. Because these antennal neuropeptide forming cells have bee found in no other species of insect, they may be a means of specifically targeting these vectors of diseases by using chemical methods of disrupting the functioning of these peptides. In addition, this study showed for the first time in any animal, the regulation of sensory signals by neuropeptide cells as they are received from the environment by the sensory nerves of the antennae.
Technical Abstract: An ultrastructural study of the antennae of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, revealed that, as in the salt marsh mosquito, Culex salinarius, the first flagellar segment of both sexes contains intrinsic neuroendocrine cells. These cells not only extend an axon via the antennal nerve to the antennal lobe of the deutocerebrum, but also project collaterals to the periphery of the antennae where they modulate the environmental signals received by these cells by forming synapses with the dendrites of the sensory nerves. To our knowledge this is the first report in any animal of neurites of neuroendocrine cells forming axo-dendritic synapses with sensory neurons.