Neuronal architecture of the mosquito deutocerebrum

Rickard Ignell, Teun Dekker, Majid Ghaninia, Bill S. Hansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Mosquito behavior is heavily dependent on olfactory and mechanosensory cues, which are detected by receptor neurons on the antenna and on the palps. Recent progress in mosquito sensory genomics highlights the need for an up-to-date understanding of the neural architecture of the mosquito brain. Here we present a detailed description of the neural structure of the primary target of the majority of these neurons, the deutocerebrum, in the African malaria (Anopheles gambiae) and yellow fever (Aedes aegypti) mosquitoes. Special focus is made on the olfactory system, the antennal lobe (AL), where we present high-resolution three-dimensional models of the ALs of male and female Ae. aegypti. These models reveal a sexual dimorphism in the number of glomeruli, 49 and 50 glomeruli in male and female mosquitoes, respectively, and in the size of several of the identified glomeruli. The fine structure of receptor neuron terminations in the AL and the rest of the deutocerebrum is described, as are the arborizations of intrinsic deutocerebral neurons and neurons providing output to higher brain areas. In the AL a specific and very large center receiving input from the mechanosensory Johnston's organ is revealed as a multilobed structure receiving peripheral input according to a somatotopic pattern. Within the antennal nerve a specific neuropil containing early, bouton-like ramifications of receptor neurons is described. Within the glomerular array of the AL, neurons providing a possible feedback circuit to antennal receptor neurons are shown. With these results we provide a new resolution in mosquito deutocerebral architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-240
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 12 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Anopheles gambiae
  • Antennal lobe
  • Antennal motor and mechanosensory center
  • Johnston's organ center
  • Morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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