Dopamine modulates female sexual receptivity in Drosophila melanogaster

J Neurogenet. 1998 Mar;12(2):101-14. doi: 10.3109/01677069809167259.


Newly eclosed Drosophila melanogaster flies were systemically depleted of dopamine by feeding an inhibitor of the biosynthetic enzyme, tyrosine hydroxylase, and analyzed for abnormalities in courtship behavior. Dopamine-depleted females were significantly less receptive to males than were control females, although males were strongly attracted to treated females. The decrease in receptivity was reversed by the addition of L-DOPA (the product of the tyrosine hydroxylation reaction) to food containing the inhibitor. Male courtship behaviors were unaffected by this treatment. Female receptivity may be regulated via interactions with hormonal pathways, since depletion of dopamine levels via inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase activity in Drosophila melanogaster adult females has established that dopamine is required for normal ovarian maturation and fecundity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Courtship*
  • Dopamine / deficiency
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Fertility / physiology
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / pharmacology


  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Dopamine