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Elife. 2016 Nov 18;5. pii: e19887. doi: 10.7554/eLife.19887.

Neuroendocrine modulation sustains the C. elegans forward motor state.

Author information

1
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada.
2
Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
3
Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
4
Institut für Genetik, Technische Universität Braunschweig Carolo Wilhelmina, Braunschweig, Germany.
5
Key Laboratory of Modern Acoustics, Ministry of Education, Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.
6
Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States.
7
Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States.
8
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States.
9
FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States.

Abstract

Neuromodulators shape neural circuit dynamics. Combining electron microscopy, genetics, transcriptome profiling, calcium imaging, and optogenetics, we discovered a peptidergic neuron that modulates C. elegans motor circuit dynamics. The Six/SO-family homeobox transcription factor UNC-39 governs lineage-specific neurogenesis to give rise to a neuron RID. RID bears the anatomic hallmarks of a specialized endocrine neuron: it harbors near-exclusive dense core vesicles that cluster periodically along the axon, and expresses multiple neuropeptides, including the FMRF-amide-related FLP-14. RID activity increases during forward movement. Ablating RID reduces the sustainability of forward movement, a phenotype partially recapitulated by removing FLP-14. Optogenetic depolarization of RID prolongs forward movement, an effect reduced in the absence of FLP-14. Together, these results establish the role of a neuroendocrine cell RID in sustaining a specific behavioral state in C. elegans.

KEYWORDS:

C. elegans; RNA profiling; developmental biology; motor state; neuroendocrine; neuroscience; peptidergic neurons; stem cells

PMID:
27855782
PMCID:
PMC5120884
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.19887
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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