Aspects of the embryology and neural development of the American lobster

Barbara S. Beltz, Simone M. Helluy, Maureen L. Ruchhoeft, Laura S. Gammill

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It is feasible to study the anatomical, physiological, and biochemical properties of identifiable neurons in lobster embryos. To exploit fully the advantages of this preparation and to lay the foundation for single‐cell studies, our recent goals have been to 1) establish a quantitative staging system for embryos, 2) document in detail the lobster's embryonic development, 3) determine when uniquely identifiable neurons first acquire their transmitter phenotypes, and 4) identify particular neurons that may serve developmental functions. Behavioral, anatomical, morphometric, and immunocytochemical studies have led to a detailed characterization of the growth and maturation of lobster embryos and to the adoption of a percent‐ staging system based upon the eye index of Perkins (Fish. Bull., 70:95–99, 1972). It is clear from these studies that the lobster nauplius molts at approximately 12% embryonic development (E12%) into a metanauplius, which subsequently undergoes a complete molt cycle within the egg. This molt cycle climaxes with the emergence of the first‐stage larva shortly after hatching. Serotonin and proctolin, neurohormones widely distributed in the lobster nervous system, appear at different times in development. Serotonin immunoreactive neurons begin to appear at approximately E10%, with the adult complement being established by E50%. In contrast, proctolin immunoreactive neurons appear later and attain their full complement over a protracted period including larval and juvenile stages. The development of serotonergic deutocerebral neurons and their targets, the olfactory and accessory lobes in the brain, are also examined. The olfactory lobes are forming by E10% and have acquired their glomerulur organization by E50%, whereas the formation of the accessory lobes is delayed; the early rudiments of the accessory lobes are seen by E50%, and glomeruli do not form until the second larval stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-297
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1992


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