Octopamine Neuromodulation Regulates Gr32a-Linked Aggression and Courtship Pathways in Drosophila Males

Jonathan C. Andrews, María Paz Fernández, Qin Yu, Greg P. Leary, Adelaine K.W. Leung, Michael P. Kavanaugh, Edward A. Kravitz, Sarah J. Certel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Chemosensory pheromonal information regulates aggression and reproduction in many species, but how pheromonal signals are transduced to reliably produce behavior is not well understood. Here we demonstrate that the pheromonal signals detected by Gr32a-expressing chemosensory neurons to enhance male aggression are filtered through octopamine (OA, invertebrate equivalent of norepinephrine) neurons. Using behavioral assays, we find males lacking both octopamine and Gr32a gustatory receptors exhibit parallel delays in the onset of aggression and reductions in aggression. Physiological and anatomical experiments identify Gr32a to octopamine neuron synaptic and functional connections in the suboesophageal ganglion. Refining the Gr32a-expressing population indicates that mouth Gr32a neurons promote male aggression and form synaptic contacts with OA neurons. By restricting the monoamine neuron target population, we show that three previously identified OA-FruM neurons involved in behavioral choice are among the Gr32a-OA connections. Our findings demonstrate that octopaminergic neuromodulatory neurons function as early as a second-order step in this chemosensory-driven male social behavior pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1004356
JournalPLoS Genetics
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Octopamine Neuromodulation Regulates Gr32a-Linked Aggression and Courtship Pathways in Drosophila Males'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this