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Curr Biol. 2014 Mar 31;24(7):725-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.12.051. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Sexually dimorphic octopaminergic neurons modulate female postmating behaviors in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics, University of Oxford, Sherrington Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK. Electronic address: carolina.rezaval@dpag.ox.ac.uk.
2
Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics, University of Oxford, Sherrington Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK.
3
Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, University of Oxford, Tinsley Building, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3SR, UK.
4
Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics, University of Oxford, Sherrington Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK. Electronic address: stephen.goodwin@dpag.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

Mating elicits profound behavioral and physiological changes in many species that are crucial for reproductive success. After copulation, Drosophila melanogaster females reduce their sexual receptivity and increase egg laying [1, 2]. Transfer of male sex peptide (SP) during copulation mediates these postmating responses [1, 3-6] via SP sensory neurons in the uterus defined by coexpression of the proprioceptive neuronal marker pickpocket (ppk) and the sex-determination genes doublesex (dsx) and fruitless (fru) [7-9]. Although neurons expressing dsx downstream of SP signaling have been shown to regulate postmating behaviors [9], how the female nervous system coordinates the change from pre- to postcopulatory states is unknown. Here, we show a role of the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in the female postmating response. Lack of OA disrupts postmating responses in mated females, while increase of OA induces postmating responses in virgin females. Using a novel dsx(FLP) allele, we uncovered dsx neuronal elements associated with OA signaling involved in modulation of postmating responses. We identified a small subset of sexually dimorphic OA/dsx(+) neurons (approximately nine cells in females) in the abdominal ganglion. Our results are consistent with a model whereby OA neuronal signaling increases after copulation, which in turn modulates changes in female behavior and physiology in response to reproductive state.

PMID:
24631243
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2013.12.051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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