Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Neuropeptides in the Drosophila central complex in modulation of locomotor behavior
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. (Åsa Winther)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Biology, ISSN 0022-0949, Vol. 213, 2256-2265 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The central complex is one of the most prominent neuropils in the insect brain. It has been implicated in the control of locomotor activity and is considered as a pre-motor center. Several neuropeptides are expressed in circuits of the central complex, and thus may be modulators of locomotor behavior. Here we have investigated the roles of two different neuropeptides, Drosophila tachykinin (DTK) and short neuropeptide F (sNPF), in aspects of locomotor behavior. In the Drosophila brain, DTK and sNPF are expressed in interneurons innervating the central complex. We have directed RNA interference (RNAi) towards DTK and sNPF specifically in different central complex neurons. We also expressed a temperature-sensitive dominant negative allele of the fly ortholog of dynamin called shibire(ts1), essential in membrane vesicle recycling and endocytosis, to disrupt synaptic transmission in central complex neurons. The spontaneous walking activity of the RNAi- or shibire(ts1)-expressing flies was quantified by video tracking. DTK-deficient flies displayed drastically increased center zone avoidance, suggesting that DTK is involved in the regulation of spatial orientation. In addition, DTK deficiency in other central complex neurons resulted in flies with an increased number of activity-rest bouts. Perturbations in the sNPF circuit indicated that this peptide is involved in the fine regulation of locomotor activity levels. Our findings suggest that the contribution of DTK and sNPF to locomotor behavior is circuit dependent and associated with particular neuronal substrates. Thus, peptidergic pathways in the central complex have specific roles in the fine tuning of locomotor activity of adult Drosophila.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 213, 2256-2265 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-40757DOI: 10.1242/jeb.043190ISI: 000278671900018OAI: diva2:326169
Available from: 2010-06-22 Created: 2010-06-22 Last updated: 2011-11-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Distribution and modulatory roles of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters in the Drosophila brain 
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distribution and modulatory roles of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters in the Drosophila brain 
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The central complex is a prominent neuropil found in the middle of the insect brain. It is considered as a higher center for motor control and information processing. Multiple neuropeptides and neurotransmitters are produced in neurons of the central complex, however, distribution patterns and functional roles of signaling substances in this brain region are poorly known. Thus, this thesis focuses on the distribution of signaling substances and on modulatory roles of neuropeptides in the central complex of Drosophila.

Immunocytochemistry in combination with GAL4/UAS technique was used to visualize various signaling substances in the central complex. We revealed different central-complex neurons expressing the neuropeptides; Drosophila tachykinin (DTK), short neuropeptide F (sNPF), myoinhibitory peptide (MIP), allatostatin A, proctolin, SIFamide, neuropeptide F and FMRFamide. Subpopulations of DTK, sNPF and MIP-expressing neurons were found to co-localize a marker for acetylcholine. In addition, five metabotropic neurotransmitter receptors were found to be expressed in distinct patterns. Comparison of receptor/ligand distributions revealed a close match in most of the structures studied.

By using a video-tracking assay, peptidergic modulation of locomotor behavior was studied. Different DTK and sNPF-expressing neurons innervating the central complex were revealed to modulate spatial distribution, number of activity-rest phases and activity levels, suggesting circuit dependent modulation.

Furthermore, neurosecretory cells in the Drosophila brain that co-express three types of neuropeptides were shown to modulate stress responses to desiccation and starvation.

In summary, we have studied two different neuropeptides (DTK and sNPF) expressed in interneuronal circuits and neurosecretory cells of the Drosophila brain in more detail. We found that these neuropeptides display multiple actions as neuromodulators and circulating hormones, and that their actions depend on where they are released.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2010. 44 p.
central complex, locomotor behavior, co-transmitter, metabotropic receptor, metabolic stress
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42947 (URN)978-91-7447-150-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-29, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapenshus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press. Paper 3: Manuscript.Available from: 2010-10-07 Created: 2010-09-20 Last updated: 2012-01-20Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Kahsai, LilyWinther, Åsa M E
By organisation
Department of Zoology
In the same journal
Journal of Experimental Biology
Natural Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 99 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link