Mapping of serotonin, dopamine, and histamine in relation to different clock neurons in the brain of Drosophila.
ABSTRACT Several sets of clock neurons cooperate to generate circadian activity rhythms in Drosophila melanogaster. To extend the knowledge on neurotransmitters in the clock circuitry, we analyzed the distribution of some biogenic amines in relation to identified clock neurons. This was accomplished by employing clock neuron-specific GAL4 lines driving green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression, combined with immunocytochemistry with antisera against serotonin, histamine, and tyrosine hydroxylase (for dopamine). In the larval and adult brain, serotonin-immunoreactive (-IR) neuron processes are in close proximity of both the dendrites and the dorsal terminals of the major clock neurons, the s-LN(v)s. Additionally, the terminals of the l-LN(v) clock neurons and serotonergic processes converge in the distal medulla. No histamine (HA)-IR processes contact the s-LN(v)s in the larval brain, but possibly impinge on the dorsal clock neurons, DN2. In the adult brain, HA-IR axons of the extraocular eyelet photoreceptors terminate on the dendritic branches of the LN(v)s. A few tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-IR processes were seen close to the dorsal terminals of the s-LN(v)s, but not their dendrites, in the larval and adult brain. TH-IR processes also converge with the distal medulla branches of the l-LN(v)s in adults. None of the monoamines was detectable in the different clock neurons. By using an imaging system to monitor intracellular Ca(2+) levels in dissociated GFP-labeled larval s-LN(v)s, loaded with Fura-2, we demonstrated that application of serotonin induced dose-dependent decreases in Ca(2+). Thus, serotonergic neurons form functional inputs on the s-LN(v)s in the larval brain and possibly also in adults.
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ABSTRACT: GABAergic signalling is important for normal sleep in humans and flies. Here we advance the current understanding of GABAergic modulation of daily sleep patterns by focusing on the role of slow metabotropic GABAB receptors in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We asked whether GABAB-R2 receptors are regulatory elements in sleep regulation in addition to the already identified fast ionotropic Rdl GABAA receptors. By immunocytochemical and reporter-based techniques we show that the pigment dispersing factor (PDF)-positive ventrolateral clock neurons (LNv) express GABAB-R2 receptors. Downregulation of GABAB-R2 receptors in the large PDF neurons (l-LNv) by RNAi reduced sleep maintenance in the second half of the night, whereas sleep latency at the beginning of the night that was previously shown to depend on ionotropic Rdl GABAA receptors remained unaltered. Our results confirm the role of the l-LNv neurons as an important part of the sleep circuit in D. melanogaster and also identify the GABAB-R2 receptors as the thus far missing component in GABA-signalling that is essential for sleep maintenance. Despite the significant effects on sleep, we did not observe any changes in circadian behaviour in flies with downregulated GABAB-R2 receptors, indicating that the regulation of sleep maintenance via l-LNv neurons is independent of their function in the circadian clock circuit.Journal of Experimental Biology 10/2013; 216(Pt 20):3837-43. · 3.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Some organisms can adapt to seasonal and other environmental challenges by entering a state of dormancy, diapause. Thus, insects exposed to decreased temperature and short photoperiod enter a state of arrested development, lowered metabolism, and increased stress resistance. Drosophila melanogaster females can enter a shallow reproductive diapause in the adult stage, which drastically reduces organismal senescence, but little is known about the physiology and endocrinology associated with this dormancy, and the genes involved in its regulation. We induced diapause in D. melanogaster and monitored effects over 12 weeks on dynamics of ovary development, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, as well as expression of genes involved in endocrine signaling, metabolism and innate immunity. During diapause food intake diminishes drastically, but circulating and stored carbohydrates and lipids are elevated. Gene transcripts of glucagon- and insulin-like peptides increase, and expression of several target genes of these peptides also change. Four key genes in innate immunity can be induced by infection in diapausing flies, and two of these, drosomycin and cecropin A1, are upregulated by diapause independently of infection. Diapausing flies display very low mortality, extended lifespan and decreased aging of the intestinal epithelium. Many phenotypes induced by diapause are reversed after one week of recovery from diapause conditions. Furthermore, mutant flies lacking specific insulin-like peptides (dilp5 and dilp2-3) display increased diapause incidence. Our study provides a first comprehensive characterization of reproductive diapause in D. melanogaster, and evidence that glucagon- and insulin-like signaling are among the key regulators of the altered physiology during this dormancy.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(11):e113051. · 3.53 Impact Factor