cAMP signalling in mushroom bodies modulates temperature preference behaviour in Drosophila.
ABSTRACT Homoiotherms, for example mammals, regulate their body temperature with physiological responses such as a change of metabolic rate and sweating. In contrast, the body temperature of poikilotherms, for example Drosophila, is the result of heat exchange with the surrounding environment as a result of the large ratio of surface area to volume of their bodies. Accordingly, these animals must instinctively move to places with an environmental temperature as close as possible to their genetically determined desired temperature. The temperature that Drosophila instinctively prefers has a function equivalent to the 'set point' temperature in mammals. Although various temperature-gated TRP channels have been discovered, molecular and cellular components in Drosophila brain responsible for determining the desired temperature remain unknown. We identified these components by performing a large-scale genetic screen of temperature preference behaviour (TPB) in Drosophila. In parallel, we mapped areas of the Drosophila brain controlling TPB by targeted inactivation of neurons with tetanus toxin and a potassium channel (Kir2.1) driven with various brain-specific GAL4s. Here we show that mushroom bodies (MBs) and the cyclic AMP-cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (cAMP-PKA) pathway are essential for controlling TPB. Furthermore, targeted expression of cAMP-PKA pathway components in only the MB was sufficient to rescue abnormal TPB of the corresponding mutants. Preferred temperatures were affected by the level of cAMP and PKA activity in the MBs in various PKA pathway mutants.
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ABSTRACT: Whereas temperature and humidity are critical variables affecting physiology, behavior, and evolution, the genetic and neuronal underpinnings of thermosensation and hygrosensation remain poorly understood. We have initiated a behavioral-genetic investigation of these sensory systems in Drosophila. Behavioral tests are described for the rapid screening of mutants defective in thermosensation and hygrosensation. We demonstrate the strong responses of normal flies to temperature and humidity. Two mutants were found with defects in thermosensation, only one of which is also defective in hygrosensation, indicating that they involve different sensory mechanisms. Ablation experiments further separate these sensory systems by showing that thermoreceptors are housed in the third antennal segment, whereas hygroreceptors are located more distally in the antennal arista.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/1996; 93(12):6079-84. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tetanus toxin cleaves the synaptic vesicle protein synaptobrevin, and the ensuing loss of neurotransmitter exocytosis has implicated synaptobrevin in this process. To further the study of synaptic function in a genetically tractable organism and to generate a tool to disable neuronal communication for behavioural studies, we have expressed a gene encoding tetanus toxin light chain in Drosophila. Toxin expression in embryonic neurons removes detectable synaptobrevin and eliminates evoked, but not spontaneous, synaptic vesicle release. No other developmental or morphological defects are detected. Correspondingly, only synaptobrevin (n-syb), but not the ubiquitously expressed syb protein, is cleaved by tetanus toxin in vitro. Targeted expression of toxin can produce specific behavioral defects; in one case, the olfactory escape response is reduced.Neuron 03/1995; 14(2):341-51. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Heterotrimeric G(o) is one of the most abundant proteins in the brain, yet relatively little is known of its neural functions in vivo. Here we demonstrate that G(o) signaling is required for the formation of associative memory. In Drosophila melanogaster, pertussis toxin (PTX) is a selective inhibitor of G(o) signaling. The postdevelopmental expression of PTX within mushroom body neurons robustly and reversibly inhibits associative learning. The effect of G(o) inhibition is distributed in both gamma- and alpha/beta-lobe mushroom body neurons. However, the expression of PTX in neurons adjacent to the mushroom bodies does not affect memory. PTX expression also does not interact genetically with a rutabaga adenylyl cyclase loss-of-function mutation. Thus, G(o) defines a new signaling pathway required in mushroom body neurons for the formation of associative memory.Nature Neuroscience 09/2006; 9(8):1036-40. · 15.25 Impact Factor