GSBS Student Publications

Student Author(s)

Thomas Flood

GSBS Program

Neuroscience

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Yoshihara Lab; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, MD/PhD Program

Date

10-3-2013

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Brain; DNA-Binding Proteins; Drosophila; Drosophila Proteins; High-Throughput Screening Assays; *Locomotion; Nerve Net; Neurons; Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins; TRPC Cation Channels; TRPM Cation Channels; Temperature; Transcription Factors

Disciplines

Behavioral Neurobiology | Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Abstract

Drosophila is increasingly used for understanding the neural basis of behavior through genetically targeted manipulation of specific neurons. The primary approach in this regard has relied on the suppression of neuronal activity. Here, we report the results of a novel approach to find and characterize neural circuits by expressing neuronal activators to stimulate subsets of neurons to induce behavior. Classical electrophysiological studies demonstrated that stimulation of command neurons could activate neural circuits to trigger fixed action patterns. Our method was designed to find such command neurons for diverse behaviors by screening flies in which random subsets of brain cells were activated. We took advantage of the large collection of Gal4 lines from the NP project and crossed 835 Gal4 strains with relatively limited Gal4 expression in the brain to flies carrying a UAS transgene encoding TRPM8, a cold-sensitive ion channel. Low temperatures opened the TRPM8 channel in Gal4-expressing cells, leading to their excitation, and in many cases induced overt behavioral changes in adult flies. Paralysis was reproducibly observed in the progeny of crosses with 84 lines, whereas more specific behaviors were induced with 24 other lines. Stimulation performed using the heat-activated channel, TrpA1, resulted in clearer and more robust behaviors, including flight, feeding, and egg-laying. Through follow-up studies starting from this screen, we expect to find key components of the neural circuits underlying specific behaviors, thus providing a new avenue for their functional analysis.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: G3 (Bethesda). 2013 Oct 3;3(10):1629-37. doi: 10.1534/g3.113.006205. Link to article on publisher's site

Comments

Copyright © 2013 Flood et al.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

Drosophila, Gal4, TRPM8, TrpA1, command neurons

Journal Title

G3 (Bethesda, Md.)

PubMed ID

23934998

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.