The lateral and dorsal neurons of Drosophila melanogaster: new insights about their morphology and function

Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2007;72:517-25. doi: 10.1101/sqb.2007.72.063.


This chapter summarizes our present knowledge about the master clock of the fruit fly at the neuronal level. The clock is organized in distinct groups of interconnected pacemaker neurons with different functions. All of these neurons appear to communicate with one another in order to produce the species-specific activity rhythm, which is organized in morning (M) and evening (E) activity bouts. These two activity components are differentially influenced by distinct groups of pacemaker neurons reminiscent of the Pittendrigh-Daan dual oscillator model. In the original work (Grima et al. 2004; Stoleru et al. 2004), the ventrolateral (LN(v)) and dorsolateral (LN(d)) plus some dorsal groups (DN) of clock neurons have been defined as M and E cells, respectively. We further specify that the clock neurons belong to the M and E oscillators and define a more complex picture of the Drosophila brain clock.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / genetics
  • Biological Clocks / physiology
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / anatomy & histology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Genes, Insect
  • Models, Neurological
  • Mutation
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / physiology
  • Photoperiod


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • pdf protein, Drosophila