Neurons communicate through neurotransmitter release at specialized synaptic regions known as active zones (AZs). Using biosensors to visualize single synaptic vesicle fusion events at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions, we analyzed the developmental and molecular determinants of release probability (Pr) for a defined connection with ~300 AZs. Pr was heterogeneous but represented a stable feature of each AZ. Prremained stable during high frequency stimulation and retained heterogeneity in mutants lacking the Ca2+ sensor Synaptotagmin 1. Pr correlated with both presynaptic Ca2+ channel abundance and Ca2+ influx at individual release sites. Pr heterogeneity also correlated with glutamate receptor abundance, with high Pr connections developing receptor subtype segregation. Intravital imaging throughout development revealed that AZs acquire high Pr during a multi-day maturation period, with Pr heterogeneity largely reflecting AZ age. The rate of synapse maturation was activity-dependent, as both increases and decreases in neuronal activity modulated glutamate receptor field size and segregation.
The diversity of cell types and regulatory states in the brain, and how these change during aging, remains largely unknown. We present a single-cell transcriptome atlas of the entire adult Drosophila melanogaster brain sampled across its lifespan. Cell clustering identified 87 initial cell clusters that are further subclustered and validated by targeted cell-sorting. Our data show high granularity and identify a wide range of cell types. Gene network analyses using SCENIC revealed regulatory heterogeneity linked to energy consumption. During aging, RNA content declines exponentially without affecting neuronal identity in old brains. This single-cell brain atlas covers nearly all cells in the normal brain and provides the tools to study cellular diversity alongside other Drosophila and mammalian single-cell datasets in our unique single-cell analysis platform: SCope (http://scope.aertslab.org). These results, together with SCope, allow comprehensive exploration of all transcriptional states of an entire aging brain.
Literature context: ti-nc82 (mouse) DSHB Cat# nc82, RRID:AB_2314866 Anti-rat AlexA 594 Life Technol
Memory consolidation is a crucial step for long-term memory (LTM) storage. However, we still lack a clear picture of how memory consolidation is regulated at the neuronal circuit level. Here, we took advantage of the well-described anatomy of the Drosophila olfactory memory center, the mushroom body (MB), to address this question in the context of appetitive LTM. The MB lobes, which are made by the fascicled axons of the MB intrinsic neurons, are organized into discrete anatomical modules, each covered by the terminals of a defined type of dopaminergic neuron (DAN) and the dendrites of a corresponding type of MB output neuron (MBON). We previously revealed the essential role of one DAN, the MP1 neuron, in the formation of appetitive LTM. The MP1 neuron is anatomically matched to the GABAergic MBON MVP2, which has been attributed feedforward inhibitory functions recently. Here, we used behavior experiments and in vivo imaging to challenge the existence of MP1-MVP2 synapses and investigate their role in appetitive LTM consolidation. We show that MP1 and MVP2 neurons form an anatomically and functionally recurrent circuit, which features a feedback inhibition that regulates consolidation of appetitive memory. This circuit involves two opposite type 1 and type 2 dopamine receptors in MVP2 neurons and the metabotropic GABAB-R1 receptor in MP1 neurons. We propose that this dual-receptor feedback supports a bidirectional self-regulation of MP1 input to the MB. This mechanism displays striking similarities with the mammalian reward system, in which modulation of the dopaminergic signal is primarily assigned to inhibitory neurons.
Literature context: opmental Studies Hybridoma Bank RRID:AB_2314866
Understanding how cellular identity naturally interconverts with high efficiency and temporospatial precision is crucial for regenerative medicine. Here, we revealed a natural midgut-to-renal lineage conversion event during Drosophila metamorphosis and identified the evolutionarily-conserved homeodomain protein Cut as a master switch in this process. A steep Wnt/Wingless morphogen gradient intersects with a pulse of steroid hormone ecdysone to induce cut expression in a subset of midgut progenitors and reprogram them into renal progenitors. Molecularly, ecdysone-induced temporal factor Broad physically interacts with cut enhancer-bound Wnt pathway effector TCF/β-catenin and likely bridges the distant enhancer and promoter region of cut through its self-association. Such long-range enhancer-promoter looping could subsequently trigger timely cut transcription. Our results therefore led us to propose an unexpected poising-and-bridging mechanism whereby spatial and temporal cues intersect, likely via chromatin looping, to turn on a master transcription factor and dictate efficient and precise lineage reprogramming.
Literature context: 2006 RRID:AB_2314866 Anti-FMRP Abcam RRID: AB_297038
Human Ataxin-2 is implicated in the cause and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and type 2 spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA-2). In Drosophila, a conserved atx2 gene is essential for animal survival as well as for normal RNP-granule assembly, translational control, and long-term habituation. Like its human homolog, Drosophila Ataxin-2 (Atx2) contains polyQ repeats and additional intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). We demonstrate that Atx2 IDRs, which are capable of mediating liquid-liquid phase transitions in vitro, are essential for efficient formation of neuronal mRNP assemblies in vivo. Remarkably, ΔIDR mutants that lack neuronal RNP granules show normal animal development, survival, and fertility. However, they show defects in long-term memory formation/consolidation as well as in C9ORF72 dipeptide repeat or FUS-induced neurodegeneration. Together, our findings demonstrate (1) that higher-order mRNP assemblies contribute to long-term neuronal plasticity and memory, and (2) that a targeted reduction in RNP-granule formation efficiency can alleviate specific forms of neurodegeneration.
Literature context: t# nc82 RRID:AB_2314866 Mouse monoclonal Î±-GFP Roche Ca
The reward system is a collection of circuits that reinforce behaviors necessary for survival [1, 2]. Given the importance of reproduction for survival, actions that promote successful mating induce pleasurable feeling and are positively reinforced [3, 4]. This principle is conserved in Drosophila, where successful copulation is naturally rewarding to male flies, induces long-term appetitive memories , increases brain levels of neuropeptide F (NPF, the fly homolog of neuropeptide Y), and prevents ethanol, known otherwise as rewarding to flies [6, 7], from being rewarding . It is not clear which of the multiple sensory and motor responses performed during mating induces perception of reward. Sexual interactions with female flies that do not reach copulation are not sufficient to reduce ethanol consumption , suggesting that only successful mating encounters are rewarding. Here, we uncoupled the initial steps of mating from its final steps and tested the ability of ejaculation to mimic the rewarding value of full copulation. We induced ejaculation by activating neurons that express the neuropeptide corazonin (CRZ)  and subsequently measured different aspects of reward. We show that activating Crz-expressing neurons is rewarding to male flies, as they choose to reside in a zone that triggers optogenetic stimulation of Crz neurons and display conditioned preference for an odor paired with the activation. Reminiscent of successful mating, repeated activation of Crz neurons increases npf levels and reduces ethanol consumption. Our results demonstrate that ejaculation stimulated by Crz/Crz-receptor signaling serves as an essential part of the mating reward mechanism in Drosophila. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Literature context: opmental Studies Hybridoma Bank RRID:AB_2314866 Chicken anti-GFP Abcam Cat# ab1
Active forgetting explains the intrinsic instability of a labile memory lasting for hours. However, how such memory maintains stability against unwanted disruption is not completely understood. Here, we report a learning-activated active protection mechanism that enables labile memory to resist disruptive sensory experiences in Drosophila. Aversive olfactory conditioning activates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) transiently in the mushroom-body γ lobe, where labile-aversive memory is stored. This increased MAPK activity significantly prolongs labile memory retention and enhances its resistance to disruption induced by heat shock, electric shock, or odor reactivation. Such experience-induced forgetting cannot be prevented by inhibition of Rac1 activity. Instead, protection of Rac1-independent forgetting correlates with non-muscle myosin II activity and persistence of learning-induced presynaptic structural changes. Increased Raf/MAPK activity, together with suppressed Rac1 activity, completely blocks labile memory decay. Thus, learning not only leads to memory formation, but also activates active protection and active forgetting to regulate the formed memory.
Literature context: Hybridoma Bank (DSHB), IA, USA RRID:AB_2314866
The fruit fly can evaluate its energy state and decide whether to pursue food-related cues. Here, we reveal that the mushroom body (MB) integrates hunger and satiety signals to control food-seeking behavior. We have discovered five pathways in the MB essential for hungry flies to locate and approach food. Blocking the MB-intrinsic Kenyon cells (KCs) and the MB output neurons (MBONs) in these pathways impairs food-seeking behavior. Starvation bi-directionally modulates MBON responses to a food odor, suggesting that hunger and satiety controls occur at the KC-to-MBON synapses. These controls are mediated by six types of dopaminergic neurons (DANs). By manipulating these DANs, we could inhibit food-seeking behavior in hungry flies or promote food seeking in fed flies. Finally, we show that the DANs potentially receive multiple inputs of hunger and satiety signals. This work demonstrates an information-rich central circuit in the fly brain that controls hunger-driven food-seeking behavior.
Literature context: tudies Hybridoma Bank DSHB:nc82;RRID:AB_2314866 1:50 for IHC
Neuroligins are postsynaptic adhesion molecules that are essential for postsynaptic specialization and synaptic function. But the underlying molecular mechanisms of neuroligin functions remain unclear. We found that Drosophila Neuroligin 1 (DNlg1) regulates synaptic structure and function through WAVE regulatory complex (WRC)-mediated postsynaptic actin reorganization. The disruption of DNlg1, DNlg2, or their presynaptic partner neurexin (DNrx) led to a dramatic decrease in the amount of F-actin. Further study showed that DNlg1, but not DNlg2 or DNlg3, directly interacts with the WRC via its C-terminal interacting receptor sequence. That interaction is required to recruit WRC to the postsynaptic membrane to promote F-actin assembly. Furthermore, the interaction between DNlg1 and the WRC is essential for DNlg1 to rescue the morphological and electrophysiological defects in dnlg1 mutants. Our results reveal a novel mechanism by which the DNrx-DNlg1 trans-synaptic interaction coordinates structural and functional properties at the neuromuscular junction.
Literature context: 87, Santa Cruz), anti-Brp (RRID:AB_2314866, DSHB), anti-cathepsin L (MAB 2
Polyamines are tightly regulated polycations that are essential for life. Loss-of-function mutations in spermine synthase (SMS), a polyamine biosynthesis enzyme, cause Snyder-Robinson syndrome (SRS), an X-linked intellectual disability syndrome; however, little is known about the neuropathogenesis of the disease. Here we show that loss of dSms in Drosophila recapitulates the pathological polyamine imbalance of SRS and causes survival defects and synaptic degeneration. SMS deficiency leads to excessive spermidine catabolism, which generates toxic metabolites that cause lysosomal defects and oxidative stress. Consequently, autophagy-lysosome flux and mitochondrial function are compromised in the Drosophila nervous system and SRS patient cells. Importantly, oxidative stress caused by loss of SMS is suppressed by genetically or pharmacologically enhanced antioxidant activity. Our findings uncover some of the mechanisms underlying the pathological consequences of abnormal polyamine metabolism in the nervous system and may provide potential therapeutic targets for treating SRS and other polyamine-associated neurological disorders.
Literature context: B Cat# nc82; RRID:AB_2314866 anti-Ncad (rat monoclonal) DSHB
Mapping neural circuits across defined synapses is essential for understanding brain function. Here we describe trans-Tango, a technique for anterograde transsynaptic circuit tracing and manipulation. At the core of trans-Tango is a synthetic signaling pathway that is introduced into all neurons in the animal. This pathway converts receptor activation at the cell surface into reporter expression through site-specific proteolysis. Specific labeling is achieved by presenting a tethered ligand at the synapses of genetically defined neurons, thereby activating the pathway in their postsynaptic partners and providing genetic access to these neurons. We first validated trans-Tango in the Drosophila olfactory system and then implemented it in the gustatory system, where projections beyond the first-order receptor neurons are not fully characterized. We identified putative second-order neurons within the sweet circuit that include projection neurons targeting known neuromodulation centers in the brain. These experiments establish trans-Tango as a flexible platform for transsynaptic circuit analysis.
Literature context: mouse anti-bruchpilot nc82 DSHB RRID:AB_2314866 1:50
Several techniques have been developed to manipulate gene expression temporally in intact neural circuits. However, the applicability of current tools developed for in vivo studies in Drosophila is limited by their incompatibility with existing GAL4 lines and side effects on physiology and behavior. To circumvent these limitations, we adopted a strategy to reversibly regulate protein degradation with a small molecule by using a destabilizing domain (DD). We show that this system is effective across different tissues and developmental stages. We further show that this system can be used to control in vivo gene expression levels with low background, large dynamic range, and in a reversible manner without detectable side effects on the lifespan or behavior of the animal. Additionally, we engineered tools for chemically controlling gene expression (GAL80-DD) and recombination (FLP-DD). We demonstrate the applicability of this technology in manipulating neuronal activity and for high-efficiency sparse labeling of neuronal populations.
Literature context: 200, RRID:AB_2314867; goat anti-Dmca1D, 1:400, Santa
Behaviorally adequate neuronal firing patterns are critically dependent on the specific types of ion channel expressed and on their subcellular localization. This study combines in situ electrophysiology with genetic and pharmacological intervention in larval Drosophila melanogaster of both sexes to address localization and function of L-type like calcium channels in motoneurons. We demonstrate that Dmca1D (Cav1 homolog) L-type like calcium channels localize to both the somatodendritic and the axonal compartment of larval crawling motoneurons. In situ patch-clamp recordings in genetic mosaics reveal that Dmca1D channels increase burst duration and maximum intraburst firing frequencies during crawling-like motor patterns in semi-intact animals. Genetic and acute pharmacological manipulations suggest that prolonged burst durations are caused by dendritically localized Dmca1D channels, which activate upon cholinergic synaptic input and amplify EPSPs, thus indicating a conserved function of dendritic L-type channels from Drosophila to vertebrates. By contrast, maximum intraburst firing rates require axonal calcium influx through Dmca1D channels, likely to enhance sodium channel de-inactivation via a fast afterhyperpolarization through BK channel activation. Therefore, in unmyelinated Drosophila motoneurons different functions of axonal and dendritic L-type like calcium channels likely operate synergistically to maximize firing output during locomotion.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Nervous system function depends on the specific excitabilities of different types of neurons. Excitability is largely shaped by different combinations of voltage-dependent ion channels. Despite a high degree of conservation, the huge diversity of ion channel types and their differential localization pose challenges in assigning distinct functions to specific channels across species. We find a conserved role, from fruit flies to mammals, for L-type calcium channels in augmenting motoneuron excitability. As in spinal cord, dendritic L-type channels amplify excitatory synaptic input. In contrast to spinal motoneurons, axonal L-type channels enhance firing rates in unmyelinated Drosophila motoraxons. Therefore, enhancing motoneuron excitability by L-type channels seems an old strategy, but localization and interactions with other channels are tuned to species-specific requirements.
Literature context: at# 2314866, RRID:AB_2314866), rat-anti Myc (1:500, Transgen
Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep homeostasis is limited. We have taken a systematic approach to study neural signaling by the transmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) in drosophila. We have generated knockout and knockin lines for Trh, the 5-HT synthesizing enzyme and all five 5-HT receptors, making it possible for us to determine their expression patterns and to investigate their functional roles. Loss of the Trh, 5HT1a or 5HT2b gene decreased sleep time whereas loss of the Trh or 5HT2b gene diminished sleep rebound after sleep deprivation. 5HT2b expression in a small subset of, probably a single pair of, neurons in the dorsal fan-shaped body (dFB) is functionally essential: elimination of the 5HT2b gene from these neurons led to loss of sleep homeostasis. Genetic ablation of 5HT2b neurons in the dFB decreased sleep and impaired sleep homeostasis. Our results have shown that serotonergic signaling in specific neurons is required for the regulation of sleep homeostasis.
Literature context: opmental Studies Hybridoma Bank RRID:AB_2314866 goat anti-mouse AlexaFluor633 (
To better understand biophysical mechanisms of mechanosensory processing, we investigated two cell types in the Drosophila brain (A2 and B1 cells) that are postsynaptic to antennal vibration receptors. A2 cells receive excitatory synaptic currents in response to both directions of movement: thus, twice per vibration cycle. The membrane acts as a low-pass filter, so that voltage and spiking mainly track the vibration envelope rather than individual cycles. By contrast, B1 cells are excited by only forward or backward movement, meaning they are sensitive to vibration phase. They receive oscillatory synaptic currents at the stimulus frequency, and they bandpass filter these inputs to favor specific frequencies. Different cells prefer different frequencies, due to differences in their voltage-gated conductances. Both Na+ and K+ conductances suppress low-frequency synaptic inputs, so cells with larger voltage-gated conductances prefer higher frequencies. These results illustrate how membrane properties and voltage-gated conductances can extract distinct stimulus features into parallel channels.
Literature context: s anti-Brp (DSHB Cat# nc82 Lot# RRID:AB_2314866), 1:200; ms anti-Synapsin (DSHB
The kinesin-3 family member Unc-104/KIF1A is required for axonal transport of many presynaptic components to synapses, and mutation of this gene results in synaptic dysfunction in mice, flies and worms. Our studies at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction indicate that many synaptic defects in unc-104-null mutants are mediated independently of Unc-104's transport function, via the Wallenda (Wnd)/DLK MAP kinase axonal damage signaling pathway. Wnd signaling becomes activated when Unc-104's function is disrupted, and leads to impairment of synaptic structure and function by restraining the expression level of active zone (AZ) and synaptic vesicle (SV) components. This action concomitantly suppresses the buildup of synaptic proteins in neuronal cell bodies, hence may play an adaptive role to stresses that impair axonal transport. Wnd signaling also becomes activated when pre-synaptic proteins are over-expressed, suggesting the existence of a feedback circuit to match synaptic protein levels to the transport capacity of the axon.
Literature context: onoclonal anti- nc82 DSHB nc82, RRID:AB_2314866 Alexa 488 conjugated goat anti-
Carboxylic acids are present in many foods, being especially abundant in fruits. Yet, relatively little is known about how acids are detected by gustatory systems and whether they have a potential role in nutrition or provide other health benefits. Here we identify sour gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) in tarsal taste sensilla of Drosophila melanogaster. We find that most tarsal sensilla harbor a sour GRN that is specifically activated by carboxylic and mineral acids but does not respond to sweet- and bitter-tasting chemicals or salt. One pair of taste sensilla features two GRNs that respond only to a subset of carboxylic acids and high concentrations of salt. All sour GRNs prominently express two Ionotropic Receptor (IR) genes, IR76b and IR25a, and we show that both these genes are necessary for the detection of acids. Furthermore, we establish that IR25a and IR76b are essential in sour GRNs of females for oviposition preference on acid-containing food. Our investigations reveal that acids activate a unique set of taste cells largely dedicated to sour taste, and they indicate that both pH/proton concentration and the structure of carboxylic acids contribute to sour GRN activation. Together, our studies provide new insights into the cellular and molecular basis of sour taste.
Literature context: ies Hybridoma Bank RRID:AB_2314866 Goat anti-Mouse IgG (H+L) Alexa
Diffuse neuromodulatory systems such as norepinephrine (NE) control brain-wide states such as arousal, but whether they control complex social behaviors more specifically is not clear. Octopamine (OA), the insect homolog of NE, is known to promote both arousal and aggression. We have performed a systematic, unbiased screen to identify OA receptor-expressing neurons (OARNs) that control aggression in Drosophila. Our results uncover a tiny population of male-specific aSP2 neurons that mediate a specific influence of OA on aggression, independent of any effect on arousal. Unexpectedly, these neurons receive convergent input from OA neurons and P1 neurons, a population of FruM+ neurons that promotes male courtship behavior. Behavioral epistasis experiments suggest that aSP2 neurons may constitute an integration node at which OAergic neuromodulation can bias the output of P1 neurons to favor aggression over inter-male courtship. These results have potential implications for thinking about the role of related neuromodulatory systems in mammals.
Literature context: nti-Bruchpilot (Brp) DSHB nc82; RRID:AB_2314866 Mouse monoclonal anti-Discs Lar
Activity-dependent synaptic remodeling occurs during early-use critical periods, when naive juveniles experience sensory input. Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) sculpts synaptic refinement in an activity sensor mechanism based on sensory cues, with FMRP loss causing the most common heritable autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fragile X syndrome (FXS). In the well-mapped Drosophila olfactory circuitry, projection neurons (PNs) relay peripheral sensory information to the central brain mushroom body (MB) learning/memory center. FMRP-null PNs reduce synaptic branching and enlarge boutons, with ultrastructural and synaptic reconstitution MB connectivity defects. Critical period activity modulation via odorant stimuli, optogenetics, and transgenic tetanus toxin neurotransmission block show that elevated PN activity phenocopies FMRP-null defects, whereas PN silencing causes opposing changes. FMRP-null PNs lose activity-dependent synaptic modulation, with impairments restricted to the critical period. We conclude that FMRP is absolutely required for experience-dependent changes in synaptic connectivity during the developmental critical period of neural circuit optimization for sensory input.
Literature context: :2,000), mouse anti-nc82 (DSHB, RRID:AB_2314866, 1:25); secondary antibodies: g
The reliable estimation of motion across varied surroundings represents a survival-critical task for sighted animals. How neural circuits have adapted to the particular demands of natural environments, however, is not well understood. We explored this question in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster. Here, as in many mammalian retinas, motion is computed in parallel streams for brightness increments (ON) and decrements (OFF). When genetically isolated, ON and OFF pathways proved equally capable of accurately matching walking responses to realistic motion. To our surprise, detailed characterization of their functional tuning properties through in vivo calcium imaging and electrophysiology revealed stark differences in temporal tuning between ON and OFF channels. We trained an in silico motion estimation model on natural scenes and discovered that our optimized detector exhibited differences similar to those of the biological system. Thus, functional ON-OFF asymmetries in fly visual circuitry may reflect ON-OFF asymmetries in natural environments.
Literature context: ank nc82; RRID:AB_2314866 Rat anti-G
How cell-type-specific physiological properties shape neuronal functions in a circuit remains poorly understood. We addressed this issue in the Drosophila mushroom body (MB), a higher olfactory circuit, where neurons belonging to distinct glomeruli in the antennal lobe feed excitation to three types of intrinsic neurons, α/β, α'/β', and γ Kenyon cells (KCs). Two-photon optogenetics and intracellular recording revealed that whereas glomerular inputs add similarly in all KCs, spikes were generated most readily in α'/β' KCs. This cell type was also the most competent in recruiting GABAergic inhibition fed back by anterior paired lateral neuron, which responded to odors either locally within a lobe or globally across all lobes depending on the strength of stimuli. Notably, as predicted from these physiological properties, α'/β' KCs had the highest odor detection speed, sensitivity, and discriminability. This enhanced discrimination required proper GABAergic inhibition. These results link cell-type-specific mechanisms and functions in the MB circuit.
Literature context: # NC82-s; RRID:AB_2314866 Rabbit ant
Animals rely on dedicated sensory circuits to extract and encode environmental features. How individual neurons integrate and translate these features into behavioral responses remains a major question. Here, we identify a visual projection neuron type that conveys predator approach information to the Drosophila giant fiber (GF) escape circuit. Genetic removal of this input during looming stimuli reveals that it encodes angular expansion velocity, whereas other input cell type(s) encode angular size. Motor program selection and timing emerge from linear integration of these two features within the GF. Linear integration improves size detection invariance over prior models and appropriately biases motor selection to rapid, GF-mediated escapes during fast looms. Our findings suggest feature integration, and motor control may occur as simultaneous operations within the same neuron and establish the Drosophila escape circuit as a model system in which these computations may be further dissected at the circuit level. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Literature context: d the monoclonal nc82 antibody (RRID:AB_2314866, Developmental Studies Hybridom
BACKGROUND: Animal olfactory systems detect volatile environmental chemicals and integrate this information to direct the discovery of food and mates as well as danger avoidance. Rather than remaining constant, olfactory response thresholds are modulated by internal and external cues to adapt odor-guided behaviors to changing conditions. RESULTS: Here, we show in Drosophila melanogaster that neuropeptide F (NPF) modulates the responses of a specific population of antennal olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) to food-derived odors. We show that knock-down of NPF in NPF neurons specifically reduces the responses of the ab3A neurons to ethyl butyrate, a volatile ester found in apples and other fruits. Knock-down of the NPF receptor (NPFR) in the ab3A neuron reduces their responses and disrupts the ability of the flies to locate food. We also identify a sexual dimorphism in ab3A responsiveness: ab3A neurons in females immediately post-eclosion are less responsive to ethyl butyrate than those of both age-matched males and older females. Not only does this change correlate with brain NPF levels, but also NPFR mutants show no such sexual dimorphism. Finally, by way of mechanism, we show that mutation of NPFR seems to cause intracellular clustering of OR22a, the odorant receptor expressed in the ab3A neurons. CONCLUSIONS: Interestingly, this modulation of the peripheral odorant responsiveness of the ab3A neurons by NPF is distinct from the modulation of presynaptic gain in the ab3A neurons previously observed with the similarly named but distinct neuropeptide sNPF. Rather than affecting the strength of the output at the level of the first synapse in the antennal lobe, NPF-NPFR signaling may affect the process of odorant detection itself by causing intracellular OR clustering.
Literature context: versity of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; RRID:AB_528108); mouse anti-GluRIIA (1:100; ca
The protein family of degenerin/epithelial sodium channels (DEG/ENaCs) is composed of diverse animal-specific, non-voltage-gated ion channels that play important roles in regulating cationic gradients across epithelial barriers. Some family members are also enriched in neural tissues in both vertebrates and invertebrates. However, the specific neurophysiological functions of most DEG/ENaC-encoding genes remain poorly understood. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model for deciphering the functions of DEG/ENaC genes because its genome encodes an exceptionally large number of DEG/ENaC subunits termed pickpocket (ppk) 1-31 Here we demonstrate that ppk29 contributes specifically to the postsynaptic modulation of excitatory synaptic transmission at the larval neuromuscular junction. Electrophysiological data indicate that the function of ppk29 in muscle is necessary for normal postsynaptic responsivity to neurotransmitter release and for normal coordinated larval movement. The ppk29 mutation does not affect gross synaptic morphology and ultrastructure, which indicates that the observed phenotypes are likely due to defects in glutamate receptor function. Together, our data indicate that DEG/ENaC ion channels play a fundamental role in the postsynaptic regulation of excitatory neurotransmission.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Members of the degenerin/epithelial sodium channel (DEG/ENaC) family are broadly expressed in epithelial and neuronal tissues. To date, the neurophysiological functions of most family members remain unknown. Here, by using the power of Drosophila genetics in combination with electrophysiological and behavioral approaches, we demonstrate that the DEG/ENaC-encoding gene pickpocket 29 contributes to baseline neurotransmission, possibly via the modulation of postsynaptic glutamate receptor functionality.
Literature context: ouse primary antibody BrpNc82 (#RRID:AB_2314866, Developmental Studies Hybridom
Syntaxin1A is organized in nanoclusters that are critical for the docking and priming of secretory vesicles from neurosecretory cells. Whether and how these nanoclusters are affected by neurotransmitter release in nerve terminals from a living organism is unknown. Here we imaged photoconvertible syntaxin1A-mEos2 in the motor nerve terminal of Drosophila larvae by single-particle tracking photoactivation localization microscopy. Opto- and thermo-genetic neuronal stimulation increased syntaxin1A-mEos2 mobility, and reduced the size and molecular density of nanoclusters, suggesting an activity-dependent release of syntaxin1A from the confinement of nanoclusters. Syntaxin1A mobility was increased by mutating its polyphosphoinositide-binding site or preventing SNARE complex assembly via co-expression of tetanus toxin light chain. In contrast, syntaxin1A mobility was reduced by preventing SNARE complex disassembly. Our data demonstrate that polyphosphoinositide favours syntaxin1A trapping, and show that SNARE complex disassembly leads to syntaxin1A dissociation from nanoclusters. Lateral diffusion and trapping of syntaxin1A in nanoclusters therefore dynamically regulate neurotransmitter release.
Literature context: RP, nc82, RRID:AB_2314866) antibodie
Synaptic vesicles fuse at morphological specializations in the presynaptic terminal termed active zones (AZs). Vesicle fusion can occur spontaneously or in response to an action potential. Following fusion, vesicles are retrieved and recycled within nerve terminals. It is still unclear whether vesicles that fuse spontaneously or following evoked release share similar recycling mechanisms. Genetic deletion of the SNARE-binding protein complexin dramatically increases spontaneous fusion, with the protein serving as the synaptic vesicle fusion clamp at Drosophila synapses. We examined synaptic vesicle recycling pathways at complexin null neuromuscular junctions, where spontaneous release is dramatically enhanced. We combined loading of the lipophilic dye FM1-43 with photoconversion, electron microscopy, and electrophysiology to monitor evoked and spontaneous recycling vesicle pools. We found that the total number of recycling vesicles was equal to those retrieved through spontaneous and evoked pools, suggesting that retrieval following fusion is partially segregated for spontaneous and evoked release. In addition, the kinetics of FM1-43 destaining and synaptic depression measured in the presence of the vesicle-refilling blocker bafilomycin indicated that spontaneous and evoked recycling pools partially intermix during the release process. Finally, FM1-43 photoconversion combined with electron microscopy analysis indicated that spontaneous recycling preferentially involves synaptic vesicles in the vicinity of AZs, whereas vesicles recycled following evoked release involve a larger intraterminal pool. Together, these results suggest that spontaneous and evoked vesicles use separable recycling pathways and then partially intermix during subsequent rounds of fusion. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Neurotransmitter release involves fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane in response to an action potential, or spontaneously in the absence of stimulation. Upon fusion, vesicles are retrieved and recycled, and it is unclear whether recycling pathways for evoked and spontaneous vesicles are segregated after fusion. We addressed this question by taking advantage of preparations lacking the synaptic protein complexin, which have elevated spontaneous release that enables reliable tracking of the spontaneous recycling pool. Our results suggest that spontaneous and evoked recycling pathways are segregated during the retrieval process but can partially intermix during stimulation.
Literature context: wa, DSHB, RRID:AB_2314866) followed
Forgetting, one part of the brain's memory management system, provides balance to the encoding and consolidation of new information by removing unused or unwanted memories or by suppressing their expression. Recent studies identified the small G protein, Rac1, as a key player in the Drosophila mushroom bodies neurons (MBn) for active forgetting. We subsequently discovered that a few dopaminergic neurons (DAn) that innervate the MBn mediate forgetting. Here we show that Scribble, a scaffolding protein known primarily for its role as a cell polarity determinant, orchestrates the intracellular signaling for normal forgetting. Knocking down scribble expression in either MBn or DAn impairs normal memory loss. Scribble interacts physically and genetically with Rac1, Pak3, and Cofilin within MBn, nucleating a forgetting signalosome that is downstream of dopaminergic inputs that regulate forgetting. These results bind disparate molecular players in active forgetting into a single signaling pathway: Dopamine→ Dopamine Receptor→ Scribble→ Rac→ Cofilin.
While Haller's rule states that small animals have relatively larger brains, minute Trichogramma evanescens Westwood (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) parasitic wasps scale brain size linearly with body size. This linear brain scaling allows them to decrease brain size beyond the predictions of Haller's rule, and is facilitated by phenotypic plasticity in brain size. In the present study we addressed whether this plasticity resulted in adaptations to the complexity of the morphology of the olfactory system of small and large T. evanescens. We used confocal laser scanning microscopy to compare size and number of glomeruli in the antennal lobe in the brain, and scanning electron microscopy to compare length and number of olfactory sensilla on the antennae. The results show a similar level of complexity of the olfactory system morphology of small and large wasps. Wasps with a similar genotype but very different brain and body size have similarly sized olfactory sensilla and most of them occur in equal numbers on the antennae. Small and large wasps also have a similar number of glomeruli in the antennal lobe. Glomeruli in small brains are, however, smaller in both absolute and relative volume. These similarities between small and large wasps may indicate that plasticity in brain size does not require plasticity in the gross morphology of the olfactory system. It may be vital for wasps of all sizes to have a large number of olfactory receptor types, to maintain olfactory precision in their search for suitable hosts, and consequently maintain their reproductive success and Darwinian fitness.
In Drosophila melanogaster olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) establish synapses with projection neurons (PNs) and local interneurons within antennal lobe (AL) glomeruli. Substantial knowledge regarding this circuitry has been obtained by functional studies, whereas ultrastructural evidence of synaptic contacts is scarce. To fill this gap, we studied serial sections of three glomeruli using electron microscopy. Ectopic expression of a membrane-bound peroxidase allowed us to map synaptic sites along PN dendrites. Our data prove for the first time that each of the three major types of AL neurons is both pre- and postsynaptic to the other two types, as previously indicated by functional studies. PN dendrites carry a large proportion of output synapses, with approximately one output per every three input synapses. Detailed reconstructions of PN dendrites showed that these synapses are distributed unevenly, with input and output sites partially segregated along a proximal-distal gradient and the thinnest branches carrying solely input synapses. Moreover, our data indicate synapse clustering, as we found evidence of dendritic tiling of PN dendrites. PN output synapses exhibited T-shaped presynaptic densities, mostly arranged as tetrads. In contrast, output synapses from putative OSNs showed elongated presynaptic densities in which the T-bar platform was supported by several pedestals and contacted as many as 20 postsynaptic profiles. We also discovered synaptic contacts between the putative OSNs. The average synaptic density in the glomerular neuropil was about two synapses/µm(3) . These results are discussed with regard to current models of olfactory glomerular microcircuits across species.
Literature context: nd mouse anti-nc82 (1:100, DSHB#RRID:AB_2314866). The other secondary antibodie
Neurons and glia are the two major cell types in the nervous system and work closely with each other to program neuronal interplay. Traditionally, neurons are thought to be the major cells that actively regulate processes like synapse formation, plasticity, and behavioral output. Glia, on the other hand, serve a more supporting role. To date, accumulating evidence has suggested that glia are active participants in virtually every aspect of neuronal function. Despite this, fundamental features of how glia interact with neurons, and their spatial relationships, remain elusive. Here, we describe the glial cell population in Drosophila adult brains. Glial cells extend and tightly associate their processes with major structures such as the mushroom body (MB), ellipsoid body (EB), and antennal lobe (AL) in the brain. Glial cells are distributed in a more concentrated manner in the MB. Furthermore, subsets of glia exhibit distinctive association patterns around different neuronal structures. Whereas processes extended by astrocyte-like glia and ensheathing glia wrap around the MB and infiltrate into the EB and AL, cortex glia stay where cell bodies of neurons are and remain outside of the synaptic regions structured by EB or AL.
Literature context: pmental Studies Hybridoma Bank, RRID:AB_2314866). Rabbit anti-GFP was used at 1
Over the past 35 years, developmental geneticists have made impressive progress toward an understanding of how genes specify morphology and function, particularly as they relate to the specification of each physical component of an organism. In the last 20 years, male courtship behavior in Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as a robust model system for the study of genetic specification of behavior. Courtship behavior is both complex and innate, and a single gene, fruitless (fru), is both necessary and sufficient for all aspects of the courtship ritual. Typically, loss of male-specific Fruitless protein function results in male flies that perform the courtship ritual incorrectly, slowly, or not at all. Here we describe a novel requirement for fru: we have identified a group of cells in which male Fru proteins are required to reduce the speed of courtship initiation. In addition, we have identified a gene, Trapped in endoderm 1 (Tre1), which is required in these cells for normal courtship and mating behavior. Tre1 encodes a G-protein-coupled receptor required for establishment of cell polarity and cell migration and has previously not been shown to be involved in courtship behavior. We describe the results of feminization of the Tre1-expressing neurons, as well as the effects on courtship behavior of mutation of Tre1. In addition, we show that Tre1 is expressed in a sexually dimorphic pattern in the central and peripheral nervous systems and investigate the role of the Tre1 cells in mate identification.
Literature context: t, polyclonal22939AB_5722451:500BruchpilotBruchpilot peptide sequence (1390-1740) from head homogenateDSHB, Mouse, monoclonalNc-82AB_23148661:50Manduca sexta HA B receptor
Neural circuits projecting information from motor to sensory pathways are common across sensory domains. These circuits typically modify sensory function as a result of motor pattern activation; this is particularly so in cases where the resultant behavior affects the sensory experience or its processing. However, such circuits have not been observed projecting to an olfactory pathway in any species despite well characterized active sampling behaviors that produce reafferent mechanical stimuli, such as sniffing in mammals and wing beating in the moth Manduca sexta. In this study we characterize a circuit that connects a flight sensory-motor center to an olfactory center in Manduca. This circuit consists of a single pair of histamine immunoreactive (HA-ir) neurons that project from the mesothoracic ganglion to innervate a subset of ventral antennal lobe (AL) glomeruli. Furthermore, within the AL we show that the M. sexta histamine B receptor (MsHisClB) is exclusively expressed by a subset of GABAergic and peptidergic LNs, which broadly project to all olfactory glomeruli. Finally, the HA-ir cell pair is present in fifth stage instar larvae; however, the absence of MsHisClB-ir in the larval antennal center indicates that the circuit is incomplete prior to metamorphosis and importantly prior to the expression of flight behavior. Although the functional consequences of this circuit remain unknown, these results provide the first detailed description of a circuit that interconnects an olfactory system with motor centers driving flight behaviors including odor-guided flight.
Although age-related changes in synaptic plasticity are an important focus within neuroscience, little is known about ultrastructural changes of synaptic morphology during aging. Here we report how aging affects synaptic ultrastructure by using fluorescence and electron microscopy at the adult Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of ventral abdominal muscles. Mainly four striking morphological changes of aging NMJs were revealed. 1) Bouton size increases with proportionally rising number of active zones (AZs). 2) Synaptic vesicle density at AZs is increased in old flies. 3) Late endosomes, cisternae, and multivesicular bodies accumulate in the presynaptic terminal, and vesicles accumulate between membranes of the terminal bouton and the subsynaptic reticulum. 4) The electron-dense pre- and postsynaptic apposition is expanded in aging NMJs, which is accompanied by an expansion of the postsynaptic glutamate receptor fields. These findings suggest that aging is possibly accompanied by impaired synaptic vesicle release and recycling and a potentially compensatory expansion of AZs and postsynaptic densities.
As a model for primary olfactory perception, the antennal lobe (AL) of Drosophila melanogaster is among the most thoroughly investigated and well-understood neuronal structures. Most studies investigating the functional properties and neuronal wiring of the AL are conducted in vivo, although so far the AL morphology has been mainly analyzed in vitro. Identifying the morphological subunits of the AL-the olfactory glomeruli-is usually done using in vitro AL atlases. However, the dissection and fixation procedure causes not only strong volumetric but also geometrical modifications; the result is unpredictable dislocation and a distortion of the AL glomeruli between the in vitro and in vivo brains. Hence, to characterize these artifacts, which are caused by in vitro processing, and to reliably identify glomeruli for in vivo applications, we generated a transgenic fly that expresses the red fluorescent protein DsRed directly fused to the presynaptic protein n-synaptobrevin, under the control of the pan-neuronal promotor elav to label the neuropil in the live animal. Using this fly line, we generated a digital 3D atlas of the live Drosophila AL; this atlas, the first of its kind, provides an excellent geometric match for in vivo studies. We verified the identity of 63% of AL glomeruli by mapping the projections of 34 GAL4-lines of individual chemosensory receptor genes. Moreover, we characterized the innervation patterns of the two most frequently used GAL4-lines in olfactory research: Orco- and GH146-GAL4. The new in vivo AL atlas will be accessible online to the neuroscience community.
The Drosophila central brain develops from a fixed number of neuroblasts. Each neuroblast makes a clone of neurons that exhibit common trajectories. Here we identified 15 distinct clones that carry larval-born neurons innervating the Drosophila central complex (CX), which consists of four midline structures including the protocerebral bridge (PB), fan-shaped body (FB), ellipsoid body (EB), and noduli (NO). Clonal analysis revealed that the small-field CX neurons, which establish intricate projections across different CX substructures, exist in four isomorphic groups that respectively derive from four complex posterior asense-negative lineages. In terms of the region-characteristic large-field CX neurons, we found that two lineages make PB neurons, 10 lineages produce FB neurons, three lineages generate EB neurons, and two lineages yield NO neurons. The diverse FB developmental origins reflect the discrete input pathways for different FB subcompartments. Clonal analysis enlightens both development and anatomy of the insect locomotor control center.
Literature context: -elav (7E8A10) and ms anti-Brp (NC82) were obtained from Development
Axonal degeneration is a hallmark of many neuropathies, neurodegenerative diseases, and injuries. Here, using a Drosophila injury model, we have identified a highly conserved E3 ubiquitin ligase, Highwire (Hiw), as an important regulator of axonal and synaptic degeneration. Mutations in hiw strongly inhibit Wallerian degeneration in multiple neuron types and developmental stages. This new phenotype is mediated by a new downstream target of Hiw: the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide adenyltransferase (Nmnat), which acts in parallel to a previously known target of Hiw, the Wallenda dileucine zipper kinase (Wnd/DLK) MAPKKK. Hiw promotes a rapid disappearance of Nmnat protein in the distal stump after injury. An increased level of Nmnat protein in hiw mutants is both required and sufficient to inhibit degeneration. Ectopically expressed mouse Nmnat2 is also subject to regulation by Hiw in distal axons and synapses. These findings implicate an important role for endogenous Nmnat and its regulation, via a conserved mechanism, in the initiation of axonal degeneration. Through independent regulation of Wnd/DLK, whose function is required for proximal axons to regenerate, Hiw plays a central role in coordinating both regenerative and degenerative responses to axonal injury.
Most neurons of the central complex belong to 10 secondary (larvally produced) lineages. In the late larva, undifferentiated axon tracts of these lineages form a primordium in which all of the compartments of the central complex can be recognized as discrete entities. Four posterior lineages (DPMm1, DPMpm1, DPMpm2, and CM4) generate the classes of small-field neurons that interconnect the protocerebral bridge, fan-shaped body, noduli, and ellipsoid body. Three lineages located in the anterior brain, DALv2, BAmv1, and DALcl2, form the large-field neurons of the ellipsoid body and fan-shaped body, respectively. These lineages provide an input channel from the optic tubercle and connect the central complex with adjacent anterior brain compartments. Three lineages in the posterior cortex, CM3, CP2, and DPMpl2, connect the posterior brain neuropil with specific layers of the fan-shaped body. Even though all of the compartments of the central complex are prefigured in the late larval brain by the axon tracts of the above-mentioned lineages, the neuropil differentiates during the first 2 days of the pupal period when terminal branches and synapses of secondary neurons are formed. During this phase the initially straight horizontal layers of the central complex bend in the frontal plane, which produces the characteristic shape of the fan-shaped and ellipsoid body. Our analysis provides a comprehensive picture of the lineages that form the central complex, and will facilitate future studies that address the structure or function of the central complex at the single cell level.
The central complex of the insect brain is an integration center, receiving inputs from many parts of the brain. In Drosophila it has been associated with the control of both locomotor and visually correlated behaviors. The central complex can be divided into several substructures and is comprised of a large number of neuronal types. These neurons produce classical neurotransmitters, biogenic amines, and different neuropeptides. However, the distribution of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in central-complex circuits of Drosophila is poorly known. By immunolabeling and GAL4-directed expression of marker proteins, we analyzed the distribution of acetylcholine, glutamate, GABA, monoamines, and eight different neuropeptides; Drosophila tachykinin, short neuropeptide F, myoinhibitory peptide, allatostatin A, proctolin, SIFamide, neuropeptide F, and FMRFamide. All eight neuropeptides were localized to the fan-shaped body, the largest substructure of the central complex, and were mapped to different layers within this structure. Several populations of peptide-immunoreactive tangential and columnar neurons were identified, of which some colocalized acetylcholine. Fewer peptides were found to be expressed in the other substructures: the ellipsoid body, the protocerebral bridge, and the noduli. The ellipsoid body and the protocerebral bridge were innervated by extrinsic peptide expressing neurons. Our findings reveal that numerous neuropeptides are expressed in the central complex and that each peptide has a distinct distribution pattern, suggesting important roles for neuropeptides as neuromediators and cotransmitters in this brain area.
The fruitfly, Drosophila, is dependent on its olfactory sense in food search and reproduction. Processing of odorant information takes place in the antennal lobes, the primary olfactory center in the insect brain. Besides classical neurotransmitters, earlier studies have indicated the presence of a few neuropeptides in the olfactory system. In the present study we made an extensive analysis of the expression of neuropeptides in the Drosophila antennal lobes by direct profiling using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and immunocytochemistry. Neuropeptides from seven different precursor genes were unambiguously identified and their localization in neurons was subsequently revealed by immunocytochemistry. These were short neuropeptide F, tachykinin related peptide, allatostatin A, myoinhibitory peptide, SIFamide, IPNamide, and myosuppressin. The neuropeptides were expressed in subsets of olfactory sensory cells and different populations of local interneurons and extrinsic (centrifugal) neurons. In some neuron types neuropeptides were colocalized with classical neurotransmitters. Our findings suggest a huge complexity in peptidergic signaling in different circuits of the antennal lobe.
The location of proteins that contribute to synaptic function has been widely studied in vertebrate synapses, far more than at model synapses of the genetically manipulable fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Drosophila photoreceptor terminals have been extensively exploited to characterize the actions of synaptic genes, and their distinct and repetitive synaptic ultrastructure is anatomically well suited for such studies. Synaptic release sites include a bipartite T-bar ribbon, comprising a platform surmounting a pedestal. So far, little is known about the composition and precise location of proteins at either the T-bar ribbon or its associated synaptic organelles, knowledge of which is required to understand many details of synaptic function. We studied the localization of candidate proteins to pre- or postsynaptic organelles, by using immuno-electron microscopy with the pre-embedding method, after first validating immunolabeling by confocal microscopy. We used monoclonal antibodies against Bruchpilot, epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate clone 15 (EPS-15), and cysteine string protein (CSP), all raised against a fly head homogenate, as well as sea urchin kinesin (antibody SUK4) and Discs large (DLG). All these antibodies labeled distinct synaptic structures in photoreceptor terminals in the first optic neuropil, the lamina, as did rabbit anti-DPAK (Drosophila p21 activated kinase) and anti-Dynamin. Validating reports from light microscopy, immunoreactivity to Bruchpilot localized to the edge of the platform, and immunoreactivity to SUK4 localized to the pedestal of the T-bar ribbon. Anti-DLG recognized the photoreceptor head of capitate projections, invaginating organelles from surrounding glia. For synaptic vesicles, immunoreactivity to EPS-15 localized to sites of endocytosis, and anti-CSP labeled vesicles lying close to the T-bar ribbon. These results provide markers for synaptic sites, and a basis for further functional studies.
Insect mushroom bodies are critical for olfactory associative learning. We have carried out an extensive quantitative description of the synaptic organization of the calyx of adult Drosophila melanogaster, the main olfactory input region of the mushroom body. By using high-resolution confocal microscopy, electron microscopy-based three-dimensional reconstructions, and genetic labeling of the neuronal populations contributing to the calyx, we resolved the precise connections between large cholinergic boutons of antennal lobe projection neurons and the dendrites of Kenyon cells, the mushroom body intrinsic neurons. Throughout the calyx, these elements constitute synaptic complexes called microglomeruli. By single-cell labeling, we show that each Kenyon cell's claw-like dendritic specialization is highly enriched in filamentous actin, suggesting that this might be a site of plastic reorganization. In fact, Lim kinase (LimK) overexpression in the Kenyon cells modifies the shape of the microglomeruli. Confocal and electron microscopy indicate that each Kenyon cell claw enwraps a single bouton of a projection neuron. Each bouton is contacted by a number of such claw-like specializations as well as profiles of gamma-aminobutyric acid-positive neurons. The dendrites of distinct populations of Kenyon cells involved in different types of memory are partially segregated within the calyx and contribute to different subsets of microglomeruli. Our analysis suggests, though, that projection neuron boutons can contact more than one type of Kenyon cell. These findings represent an important basis for the functional analysis of the olfactory pathway, including the formation of associative olfactory memories.
The protein interacting with C kinase 1 (PICK1) protein was first identified as a novel binding partner for protein kinase C. PICK1 contains a membrane-binding BAR domain and a PDZ domain interacting with many synaptic proteins, including the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunit GluR2 and the dopamine transporter. PICK1 is strongly implicated in GluR2 trafficking and synaptic plasticity. In mammals, PICK1 has been characterized extensively in cell culture studies. To study PICK1 in an intact system, we characterized PICK1 expression immunohistochemically in the adult and larval Drosophila central nervous system. PICK1 was found in cell bodies in the subesophageal ganglion, the antennal lobe, the protocerebrum, and the neuroendocrine center pars intercerebralis. The cell types that express PICK1 were identified using GAL4 enhancer trap lines. The PICK1-expressing cells form a subpopulation of neurons. PICK1 immunoreactivity was neither detected in glutamatergic nor in dopaminergic neurons. Also, we observed PICK1 expression in only a few GABAergic neurons, located in the antennal lobe. In contrast, we detected robust PICK1 immunolabeling of peptidergic neurons in the neuroendocrine system, which express the transcription factor DIMM and the amidating enzyme peptidylglycine-alpha-hydroxylating monooxygenase (PHM). The PICK1-positive cells include neurosecretory cells that produce the insulin-like peptide dILP2. PICK1 expression in insulin-producing cells also occurs in mammals, as it was also observed in a rat insulinoma cell line derived from pancreatic beta-cells. At the subcellular level, PICK1 was found in the perinuclear zone but surprisingly not in synaptic domains. We conclude that PICK1 may serve an important role in the neuroendocrine system both in insects and vertebrates.
Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) and at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Although glutamate is also used as a transmitter in the Drosophila CNS, there has been no systematic description of the central glutamatergic signaling system in the fly. With the recent cloning of the Drosophila vesicular glutamate transporter (DVGLUT), it is now possible to mark many, if not all, central glutamatergic neurons and synapses. Here we present the pattern of glutamatergic synapses and cell bodies in the late larval CNS and in the adult fly brain by using an anti-DVGLUT antibody. We also introduce two new tools for studying the Drosophila glutamatergic system: a dvglut promoter fragment fused to Gal4 whose expression labels glutamatergic neurons and a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged DVGLUT transgene that localizes to synapses. In the larval CNS, we find synaptic DVGLUT immunoreactivity prominent in all brain lobe neuropil compartments except for the mushroom body. Likewise in the adult CNS, glutamatergic synapses are abundant throughout all major brain structures except the mushroom body. We also find that the larval ventral nerve cord neuropil is rich in glutamatergic synapses, which are primarily located near the dorsal surface of the neuropil, segregated from the ventrally positioned cholinergic processes. This description of the glutamatergic system in Drosophila highlights the prevalence of glutamatergic neurons in the CNS and presents tools for future study and manipulation of glutamatergic transmission.
Members of the Drosophila gustatory receptor (Gr) gene family are generally expressed in chemosensory neurons and are known to mediate the perception of sugars, bitter substrates, CO(2), and pheromones. The Gr gene family consists of 68 members, many of which are organized in gene clusters of up to six genes, yet only expression of about 15 Gr genes has been characterized in detail prior to this study. Here we describe the first comprehensive expression analysis of six highly conserved Gr genes, Gr28a and Gr28b.a to Gr28b.e. Four of these Gr genes are not only expressed in the characteristic pattern associated with previously analyzed Gr genes-chemosensory neurons of the gustatory and olfactory system-but several other types of sensory neurons and neurons in the brain. Specifically, we show that several of the Gr28 genes are expressed in abdominal multidendritic neurons, putative hygroreceptive neurons of the arista, neurons associated with the Johnston's organ, peripheral proprioceptive neurons in the legs, neurons in the larval and adult brain, and oenocytes. Thus, our findings suggest that some Gr genes are utilized in nongustatory roles in the nervous system and tissues involved in proprioception, hygroreception, and other sensory modalities. It is also possible that the Gr28 genes have chemosensory roles in the detection of internal ligands.
In animals, sensing gravity is supported by mechanosensory neurons that send information to the central brain for integration along with other modalities. In Drosophila, candidate sensory organs for detecting the gravity vector were predicted from the results of a recent forward genetic screen. This analysis also suggested possible roles for the central complex and antennal system in Drosophila. Using the same vertical maze assay employed in the original screen, we investigated the roles of these candidate neural structures by spatial and temporal inactivation of synaptic transmission with the GAL4/UAS-shibire[ts1] system. We correlate changes in the maze behavior of flies with specific inhibition of synaptic transmission for key brain neuropil that includes the central complex and antenno-glomerular tract. Further, our results point toward a minimal, or nonexistent, role for the mushroom bodies.