Newborn cells in the adult crayfish brain differentiate into distinct neuronal types

Jeremy M. Sullivan, Barbara S. Beltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Mitotically active regions persist in the brains of decapod crustaceans throughout their lifetimes, as they do in many vertebrates. The most well-studied of these regions in decapods occurs within a soma cluster, known as cluster 10, located in the deutocerebrum. Cluster 10 in crayfish and lobsters is composed of the somata of two anatomically and functionally distinct classes of projection neurons: olfactory lobe (OL) projection neurons and accessory lobe (AL) projection neurons. While adult-generated cells in cluster 10 survive for at least a year, their final phenotypes remain unknown. To address this question, we combined BrdU labeling of proliferating cells with specific neuronal and glial markers and tracers to examine the differentiation of newborn cells in cluster 10 of the crayfish, Cherax destructor. Our results show that large numbers of adult-generated cells in cluster 10 differentiate into neurons expressing the neuropeptide crustacean-SIFamide. No evidence was obtained suggesting that cells differentiate into glia. The functional phenotypes of newborn neurons in cluster 10 were examined by combining BrdU immunocytochemistry with the application of dextran dyes to different brain neuropils. These studies showed that while the majority of cells born during the early postembryonic development of C. destructor differentiate in AL projection neurons, neurogenesis in adult crayfish is characterized by the addition of both OL and AL projection neurons. In addition to our examination of neurogenesis in the olfactory pathway, we provide the first evidence that adult neurogenesis is also a characteristic feature of the optic neuropils of decapod crustaceans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Development
  • Differentiation
  • Glia
  • Olfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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