Lateral horn of insect brain

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The lateral horn (lateral protocerebrum) is one of the two areas of the insect brain where projection neurons of the antennal lobe send their axons. The other area is the mushroom body. Several morphological classes of neurons in the lateral horn receive olfactory information through the projection neurons.[1][2][3]

In lateral horn, axons of pheromone-sensitive projection neurons are segregated from the axons of plant odor-sensitive projection neurons.[1][3] In addition, the dendrites of lateral horn neurons are restricted to one of these two zones, suggesting that pheromones and plant odors are processed separately in the lateral horn.

Lateral horn neurons responsive to non-pheromonal odors arborize widely in the lateral horn, possibly integrating information from a large number of projection neurons (even if the projection neurons themselves project only to specific regions of the lateral horn). Intracellular recordings from lateral horn neurons show that many of these neurons respond broadly to odors.[2] Responses in these neurons are synchronized to odor-evoked oscillations, and depend on odor concentration.[2]


  1. ^ a b Jefferis, G. S. X. E.; Potter, C. J.; Chan, A. M.; Marin, E. C.; Rohlfing, T.; Maurer, C. R.; Luo, L. (2007). "Comprehensive Maps of Drosophila Higher Olfactory Centers: Spatially Segregated Fruit and Pheromone Representation". Cell. 128 (6): 1187–1203. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.01.040. PMC 1885945free to read. PMID 17382886. 
  2. ^ a b c Gupta, N.; Stopfer, M. (2012). "Functional Analysis of a Higher Olfactory Center, the Lateral Horn". Journal of Neuroscience. 32 (24): 8138–8148. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1066-12.2012. PMC 3391592free to read. PMID 22699895. 
  3. ^ a b Ruta, V.; Datta, S. R.; Vasconcelos, M. L.; Freeland, J.; Looger, L. L.; Axel, R. (2010). "A dimorphic pheromone circuit in Drosophila from sensory input to descending output". Nature. 468 (7324): 686–690. doi:10.1038/nature09554. PMID 21124455.