JOURNAL ARTICLE

Programmed cell death in type II neuroblast lineages is required for central complex development in the Drosophila brain

Yanrui Jiang, Heinrich Reichert
Neural Development 2012, 7: 3
22257485

BACKGROUND: The number of neurons generated by neural stem cells is dependent upon the regulation of cell proliferation and by programmed cell death. Recently, novel neural stem cells that amplify neural proliferation through intermediate neural progenitors, called type II neuroblasts, have been discovered, which are active during brain development in Drosophila. We investigated programmed cell death in the dorsomedial (DM) amplifying type II lineages that contribute neurons to the development of the central complex in Drosophila, using clonal mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker (MARCM) and lineage-tracing techniques.

RESULTS: A significant number of the adult-specific neurons generated in these DM lineages were eliminated by programmed cell death. Programmed cell death occurred during both larval and pupal stages. During larval development, approximately one-quarter of the neuronal (but not glial) cells in the lineages were eliminated by apoptosis before the formation of synaptic connectivity during pupal stages. Lineage-tracing experiments documented the extensive contribution of intermediate neural progenitor-containing DM lineages to all of the major modular substructures of the adult central complex. Moreover, blockage of apoptotic cell death specifically in these lineages led to prominent innervation defects of DM-derived neural progeny in the major neuropile substructures of the adult central complex.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that significant neural overproliferation occurs normally in type II DM lineage development, and that elimination of excess neurons in these lineages through programmed cell death is required for the formation of correct neuropile innervation in the developing central complex. Thus, amplification of neuronal proliferation through intermediate progenitors and reduction of neuronal number through programmed cell death operate in concert in type II neural stem-cell lineages during brain development.

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