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Elife. 2016 Oct 22;5. pii: e19920. doi: 10.7554/eLife.19920.

Internal states drive nutrient homeostasis by modulating exploration-exploitation trade-off.

Author information

1
Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Lisbon, Portugal.
2
Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
3
Department of Computing, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
4
Integrative Biology Division, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Internal states can profoundly alter the behavior of animals. A quantitative understanding of the behavioral changes upon metabolic challenges is key to a mechanistic dissection of how animals maintain nutritional homeostasis. We used an automated video tracking setup to characterize how amino acid and reproductive states interact to shape exploitation and exploration decisions taken by adult Drosophila melanogaster. We find that these two states have specific effects on the decisions to stop at and leave proteinaceous food patches. Furthermore, the internal nutrient state defines the exploration-exploitation trade-off: nutrient-deprived flies focus on specific patches while satiated flies explore more globally. Finally, we show that olfaction mediates the efficient recognition of yeast as an appropriate protein source in mated females and that octopamine is specifically required to mediate homeostatic postmating responses without affecting internal nutrient sensing. Internal states therefore modulate specific aspects of exploitation and exploration to change nutrient selection.

KEYWORDS:

D. melanogaster; behavior; feeding; homeostasis; internal states; neurogenetics; neuroscience; nutrition

PMID:
27770569
PMCID:
PMC5108593
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.19920
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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