A Pair of Interneurons Influences the Choice Between Feeding and Locomotion in Drosophila

Neuron. 2013 Aug 21;79(4):754-65. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.06.018.

Abstract

The decision to engage in one behavior often precludes the selection of others, suggesting cross-inhibition between incompatible behaviors. For example, the likelihood to initiate feeding might be influenced by an animal's commitment to other behaviors. Here, we examine the modulation of feeding behavior in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and identify a pair of interneurons in the ventral nerve cord that is activated by stimulation of mechanosensory neurons and inhibits feeding initiation, suggesting that these neurons suppress feeding while the fly is walking. Conversely, inhibiting activity in these neurons promotes feeding initiation and inhibits locomotion. These studies demonstrate the mutual exclusivity between locomotion and feeding initiation in the fly, isolate interneurons that influence this behavioral choice, and provide a framework for studying the neural basis for behavioral exclusivity in Drosophila.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / genetics
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Brain / cytology
  • Calmodulin / genetics
  • Calmodulin / metabolism
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Food Deprivation
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Interneurons / classification
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase / genetics
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Rhodopsin / genetics
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Temperature
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / metabolism

Substances

  • Calmodulin
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • M13 protein (myosin light-chain kinase)
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Viral Fusion Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Sucrose
  • Rhodopsin
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase