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An antiserum raised against the peptide, culetachykinin II, immunocytochemically detected a group of neurosecretory cells in the first flagellar segment of the antennae of both males and females of the mosquito, Culex salinarius. This is the first insect species in which neurosecretory cells have been found in the antennae. The ultrastructure of these antennal neurosecretory cells (ANC) is described, as well as their relationship to other neurons in the antennae and antennal lobe of the mosquito. These tachykinin-reactive cells contain relatively small (140-220 nm) elementary neurosecretory granules. Not only do the ANC have axons that terminate on specific glomeruli of the deutocerebrum, but these neurons also have collaterals that form neurohemal terminals in the receptor lymph channels of the dendrites of the sensory neurons. Thus, the ANC not only influence higher centers of the brain that interpret signals from the antennal sensillae, but also modulate the response of the sensory receptors. To our knowledge, this is the first report of neurosecretory cells directly affecting the signal reception of sensory neurons.


S M Meola, H Sittertz-Bhatkar, M W Pendleton, R W Meola, W P Knight, J Olson. Ultrastructural analysis of neurosecretory cells in the antennae of the mosquito, Culex salinarius (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN. 2000 Feb-Apr;14(1-2):17-25

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PMID: 10854033

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