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Pathways and fine structure of neurons forming the nervi corporis allati II of the cockroach Periplaneta americana (L.)


By back-filling the nervus corporis allati II (NCA2) with Co2+ and precipitating the sulfide, two groups of somata (A and B) are revealed on the ipsilateral side of the subesophageal ganglion (SG). These occur ante-roventrally, adjacent to the midsaggital plane. Group A consists of two cells; group B of five. Their processes form two discrete tracts issuing dorsoposteriorly into the neuropile between and slightly behind the circumesophageal connectives (CEC). After producing separate arborization fields in the dorsal neuropile, the tracts circumscribe the base of the ipsilateral CEC, unite, and their seven fibers enter NCA2 anteriorly.

Prograde diffusion reveals 4-6 NCA2 axons penetrating the corpus allatum (CA) near a cap-like neurohemal organ. These axons form the transverse allatal tract (TAT), from whence they branch amongst the CA cells, and into the “cap”, the postallatal nerves, and the opposite CA.

Electron microscopy of transverse sections demonstrates nine neurosecretory axons entering the SG through NCA2. Proximal to the CA, NCA2 consists of a central bundle of neurosecretory axons and a peripheral zone confluent with the CA “cap”. Depending upon the level of sectioning, there are 7–20 axons at the center, and seven pass into the TAT. The peripheral zone has the structure of a neurohemal organ.

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Correspondence to Prof. Rudolph L. Pipa.

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Pipa, R.L., Novak, F.J. Pathways and fine structure of neurons forming the nervi corporis allati II of the cockroach Periplaneta americana (L.). Cell Tissue Res. 201, 227–237 (1979).

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Key words

  • Periplaneta americana
  • Neuroendocrine system
  • Corpus allatum innervation
  • Cobalt diffusion technique
  • Nerve fine structure