JOURNAL ARTICLE

The sox gene Dichaete is expressed in local interneurons and functions in development of the Drosophila adult olfactory circuit

Krishna V Melnattur, Daniela Berdnik, Zeid Rusan, Christopher J Ferreira, John R Nambu
Developmental Neurobiology 2013, 73 (2): 107-26
22648855
In insects, the primary sites of integration for olfactory sensory input are the glomeruli in the antennal lobes. Here, axons of olfactory receptor neurons synapse with dendrites of the projection neurons that relay olfactory input to higher brain centers, such as the mushroom bodies and lateral horn. Interactions between olfactory receptor neurons and projection neurons are modulated by excitatory and inhibitory input from a group of local interneurons. While significant insight has been gleaned into the differentiation of olfactory receptor and projection neurons, much less is known about the development and function of the local interneurons. We have found that Dichaete, a conserved Sox HMG box gene, is strongly expressed in a cluster of LAAL cells located adjacent to each antennal lobe in the adult brain. Within these clusters, Dichaete protein expression is detected in both cholinergic and GABAergic local interneurons. In contrast, Dichaete expression is not detected in mature or developing projection neurons, or developing olfactory receptor neurons. Analysis of novel viable Dichaete mutant alleles revealed misrouting of specific projection neuron dendrites and axons, and alterations in glomeruli organization. These results suggest noncell autonomous functions of Dichaete in projection neuron differentiation as well as a potential role for Dichaete-expressing local interneurons in development of the adult olfactory circuitry.

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