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Chemical Neuroanatomy of the Drosophila Central Complex: Distribution of Multiple Neuropeptides in Relation to Neurotransmitters 
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Comparative Neurology, ISSN 0021-9967, E-ISSN 1096-9861, Vol. 519, no 2, 290-315 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The central complex of the insect brain is an integration center, receiving inputs from many parts of the brain. In Drosophila it has been associated with the control of both locomotor and visually correlated behaviors. The central complex can be divided into several substructures and is comprised of a large number of neuronal types. These neurons produce classical neurotransmitters, biogenic amines, and different neuropeptides. However, the distribution of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in central-complex circuits of Drosophila is poorly known. By immunolabeling and GAL4-directed expression of marker proteins, we analyzed the distribution of acetylcholine, glutamate, GABA, monoamines, and eight different neuropeptides; Drosophila tachykinin, short neuropeptide F, myoinhibitory peptide, allatostatin A, proctolin, SIFamide, neuropeptide F, and FMRFamide. All eight neuropeptides were localized to the fan-shaped body, the largest substructure of the central complex, and were mapped to different layers within this structure. Several populations of peptide-immunoreactive tangential and columnar neurons were identified, of which some colocalized acetylcholine. Fewer peptides were found to be expressed in the other substructures: the ellipsoid body, the protocerebral bridge, and the noduli. The ellipsoid body and the protocerebral bridge were innervated by extrinsic peptide expressing neurons. Our findings reveal that numerous neuropeptides are expressed in the central complex and that each peptide has a distinct distribution pattern, suggesting important roles for neuropeptides as neuromediators and cotransmitters in this brain area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 519, no 2, 290-315 p.
Keyword [en]
brain, interneurons, cotransmitter, neuromodulator, immunocytochemistry
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42946DOI: 10.1002/cne.22520ISI: 000285425700007OAI: diva2:352345
Available from: 2010-09-20 Created: 2010-09-20 Last updated: 2012-01-20Bibliographically 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

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Kahsai, LilyWinther, Åsa M. E.
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