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Selective recognition between embryonic afferent neurons of grasshopper appendages in vitro

Maureen Condic

Selective affinity between afferent neurons has been proposed as a major mechanism underlying the assembly of the insect peripheral nervous system during development. Afferent insect neurons establish adhesive interactions in vivo that are resistant to proteolytic degradation by elastase and independent of the basal lamina. We have tested whether afferent neurons express selective affinity for one another under more simplified and controlled conditions in vitro. We report here that (1) afferent neurons from dissociated embryonic tissue selectively aggregate within 80 min when incubated with rotation, (2) afferent axons establish and maintain fasciculation in vitro, and (3) afferent neuronal processes in vitro preferentially contact the somata of other afferent neurons in a mixed field of cells.

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