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: Over the years it has become crystal clear that a variety of processes encode time of day information, ranging from gene expression, protein stability, or subcellular localization of key proteins, to the fine tuning of network properties and modulation of input signals, ultimately ensuring that physiology and behavior are properly synchronized to a changing environment. The purpose of this review is to put forward examples (as opposed to generate a comprehensive revision of all the available literature) in which the circadian system displays a remarkable degree of plasticity, from cell autonomous to circuit-based levels. In the literature, the term circadian plasticity has been used to refer to different concepts. The obvious one, the more literally, refers to any change that follows a circadian (circa=around, diem=day) pattern, i.e. a daily change of a given parameter. The discovery of daily remodeling of neuronal structures will be referred herein as structural circadian plasticity, and represents an additional and novel phenomenon modified daily. Finally, any plasticity that has to do with a circadian parameter would represent a type of circadian plasticity; as an example, adjustments that allow organisms to adapt their daily behavior to the annual changes in photoperiod is a form of circadian plasticity at a higher organizational level, which is an emergent property of the whole circadian system. Throughout this work we will revisit these types of changes by reviewing recent literature delving around circadian control of clock outputs, from the most immediate ones within pacemaker neurons to the circadian modulation of rest-activity cycles.Neuroscience 05/2013; · 3.12 Impact Factor
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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: Olfaction is in many species the most important sense, essential for food search, mate finding, and predator avoidance. Butterflies have been considered a microsmatic group of insects that mainly rely on vision due to their diurnal lifestyle. However, an emerging number of studies indicate that butterflies indeed use the sense of smell for locating food and oviposition sites. To unravel the neural substrates for olfaction, we performed an anatomical study of 2 related butterfly species that differ in food and host plant preference. We found many of the anatomical structures and pathways, as well as distribution of neuroactive substances, to resemble that of their nocturnal relatives among the Lepidoptera. The 2 species differed in the number of one type of olfactory sensilla, thus indicating a difference in sensitivity to certain compounds. Otherwise no differences could be observed. Our findings suggest that the olfactory system in Lepidoptera is well conserved despite the long evolutionary time since butterflies and moths diverged from a common ancestor.Chemical Senses 03/2013; · 3.22 Impact Factor