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Neuron. 2014 Jul 2;83(1):135-48. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.05.017.

Ascending SAG neurons control sexual receptivity of Drosophila females.

Author information

1
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Dr. Bohrgasse 7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.
2
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Dr. Bohrgasse 7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: mark.palfreyman@gmail.com.
3
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Dr. Bohrgasse 7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: dicksonb@janelia.hhmi.org.

Abstract

Mating induces pronounced changes in female reproductive behavior, typically including a dramatic reduction in sexual receptivity. In Drosophila, postmating behavioral changes are triggered by sex peptide (SP), a male seminal fluid peptide that acts via a receptor (SPR) expressed in sensory neurons (SPSNs) of the female reproductive tract. Here, we identify second-order neurons that mediate the behavioral changes induced by SP. These SAG neurons receive synaptic input from SPSNs in the abdominal ganglion and project to the dorsal protocerebrum. Silencing SAG neurons renders virgin females unreceptive, whereas activating them increases the receptivity of females that have already mated. Physiological experiments demonstrate that SP downregulates the excitability of the SPSNs, and hence their input onto SAG neurons. These data thus provide a physiological correlate of mating status in the female central nervous system and a key entry point into the brain circuits that control sexual receptivity.

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PMID:
24991958
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2014.05.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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