Remodeling of neural, glial, and tracheal cell populations in the developing Manduca wing

James B. Nardi, Elizabeth Ujhelyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This ultrastructural examination of sensory nerves of the Manduca wing has revealed that extensive remodeling occurs among insect sensory neurons and their associated glial cells between pupation and adult emergence. Systematic counts of axons in particular wing nerves throughout adult development have shown that a decrease in axon number per nerve occurs after day 6. The neurons and glial cells that die are believed to be cells present at pupation that have no apparent sensory function but that probably function as guidance scaffolding for neurons and glia that are born after pupation. Despite the loss of several axons from each wing nerve, these nerves continue to grow in diameter during the latter half of adult development as some of the surviving axons increase severalfold in diameter. Each growing wing nerve in turn apparently functions as a scaffold for the proximal to distal growth of adult tracheae. A correspondence exists between adult nerve pathways and adult tracheal pathways, with each trachea maintaining intimate contact with a wing nerve along its entire length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-375
Number of pages9
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Glia
  • Moth, Manduca sp.
  • Neurons
  • Tracheae
  • Ultrastructure
  • Wing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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