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Cell. 2009 Oct 16;139(2):416-27. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.08.035.

A neural circuit mechanism integrating motivational state with memory expression in Drosophila.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.

Abstract

Behavioral expression of food-associated memory in fruit flies is constrained by satiety and promoted by hunger, suggesting an influence of motivational state. Here, we identify a neural mechanism that integrates the internal state of hunger and appetitive memory. We show that stimulation of neurons that express neuropeptide F (dNPF), an ortholog of mammalian NPY, mimics food deprivation and promotes memory performance in satiated flies. Robust appetitive memory performance requires the dNPF receptor in six dopaminergic neurons that innervate a distinct region of the mushroom bodies. Blocking these dopaminergic neurons releases memory performance in satiated flies, whereas stimulation suppresses memory performance in hungry flies. Therefore, dNPF and dopamine provide a motivational switch in the mushroom body that controls the output of appetitive memory.

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