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gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling components in Drosophila: immunocytochemical localization of GABA(B) receptors in relation to the GABA(A) receptor subunit RDL and a vesicular GABA transporter.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Functional Morphology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1147-7766
2007 (English)In: Journal of Comparative Neurology, ISSN 0021-9967, E-ISSN 1096-9861, Vol. 505, no 1, 18-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in insects and is widely distributed in the central nervous system (CNS). GABA acts on ion channel receptors (GABAAR) for fast inhibitory transmission and on G-protein-coupled ones (GABABR) for slow and modulatory action. We used immunocytochemistry to map GABABR sites in the Drosophila CNS and compared the distribution with that of the GABAAR subunit RDL. To identify GABAergic synapses, we raised an antiserum to the vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT). For general GABA distribution, we utilized an antiserum to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD1) and a gad1-GAL4 to drive green fluorescent protein. GABABR-immunoreactive (IR) punctates were seen in specific patterns in all major neuropils of the brain. Most abundant labeling was seen in the mushroom body calyces, ellipsoid body, optic lobe neuropils, and antennal lobes. The RDL distribution is very similar to that of GABABR-IR punctates. However, the mushroom body lobes displayed RDL-IR but not GABABR-IR material, and there were subtle differences in other areas. The vGAT antiserum labeled punctates in the same areas as the GABABR and appeared to display presynaptic sites of GABAergic neurons. Various GAL4 drivers were used to analyze the relation between GABABR distribution and identified neurons in adults and larvae. Our findings suggest that slow GABA transmission is very widespread in the Drosophila CNS and that fast RDL-mediated transmission generally occurs at the same sites. J. Comp. Neurol. 505:18–31, 2007.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 505, no 1, 18-31 p.
Keyword [en]
insect central nervous system;inhibition;G-protein-coupled receptor;ion channel receptor;glutamic acid decarboxylase
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19459DOI: 10.1002/cne.21472ISI: 000250117800002PubMedID: 17729251OAI: diva2:185983
Available from: 2007-11-12 Created: 2007-11-12 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Chemical signalling in the Drosophila brain: GABA, short neuropeptide F and their receptors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chemical signalling in the Drosophila brain: GABA, short neuropeptide F and their receptors
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and short neuropeptide F (sNPF) are widespread signalling molecules in the brain of insects. In order to understand more about the signalling and to some extent start to unravel the functional roles of these two substances, this study has examined the locations of the transmitters and their receptors in the brain of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster using immunocytochemistry in combination with Gal4/UAS technique. The main focus is GABA and sNPF in feeding circuits and in the olfactory system. We found both GABA receptor types in neurons in many important areas of the Drosophila brain including the antennal lobe, mushroom body and the central body complex. The metabotropic GABAB receptor (GABABR) is expressed in a pattern similar to the ionotropic GABAAR, but some distribution differences can be distinguished (paper I). The insulin producing cells contain only GABABR, whereas the GABAAR is localized on neighbouring neurons. We found that GABA regulates the production and release of insulin-like peptides via GABABRs (paper II). The roles of sNPFs in feeding and growth have previously been established, but the mechanisms behind this are unclear. We mapped the distribution of sNPF with antisera to the sNPF precursor and found the peptide in a large variety of interneurons, including the Kenyon cells of the mushroom bodies, as well as in olfactory sensory neurons that send axons to the antennal lobe (paper III). We also mapped the distribution of the sNPF receptor in larval tissues and found localization in six median neurosecretory cells that are not insulin-producing cells, in neuronal branches in the larval antennal lobe and in processes innervating the mushroom bodies (paper IV).

In summary, we have studied two different signal substances in the Drosophila brain (GABA and sNPF) in some detail. We found that these substances and their receptors are widespread, that both sNPF and GABA act in very diverse systems and that they presumably play roles in feeding, metabolism and olfaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2011. 40 p.
Insect nervous system, Drosophila, GABA, sNPF, GPCR, ion channel receptor, feeding, metabolic stress, olfaction, antennal, lobe, mushroom body
National Category
Research subject
Functional Zoomorphology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56476 (URN)978-91-7447-291-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-05-27, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
At the time of doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-05-05 Created: 2011-04-18 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

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Enell, LinaKolodziejczyk, AgataNässel, Dick R
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