Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Genet. 2007 May;39(5):678-82. Epub 2007 Apr 22.

Serotonin and neuropeptide F have opposite modulatory effects on fly aggression.

Author information

The Neurosciences Institute, 10640 John J. Hopkins Drive, San Diego, California 92121, USA.


Both serotonin (5-HT) and neuropeptide Y have been shown to affect a variety of mammalian behaviors, including aggression. Here we show in Drosophila melanogaster that both 5-HT and neuropeptide F, the invertebrate homolog of neuropeptide Y, modulate aggression. We show that drug-induced increases of 5-HT in the fly brain increase aggression. Elevating 5-HT genetically in the serotonergic circuits recapitulates these pharmacological effects, whereas genetic silencing of these circuits makes the flies behaviorally unresponsive to the drug-induced increase of 5-HT but leaves them capable of aggression. Genetic silencing of the neuropeptide F (npf) circuit also increases fly aggression, demonstrating an opposite modulation to 5-HT. Moreover, this neuropeptide F effect seems to be independent of 5-HT. The implication of these two modulatory systems in fly and mouse aggression suggest a marked degree of conservation and a deep molecular root for this behavior.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center