Love makes smell blind: mating suppresses pheromone attraction in Drosophila females via Or65a olfactory neurons

Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 19;4:7119. doi: 10.1038/srep07119.

Abstract

In Drosophila, the male sex pheromone cis-vaccenyl acetate (cVA) elicits aggregation and courtship, through the odorant receptor Or67d. Long-lasting exposure to cVA suppresses male courtship, via a second channel, Or65a. In females, the role of Or65a has not been studied. We show that, shortly after mating, Drosophila females are no longer attracted to cVA and that activation of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) expressing Or65a generates this behavioral switch: when silencing Or65a, mated females remain responsive to cVA. Neurons expressing Or67d converge into the DA1 glomerulus in the antennal lobe, where they synapse onto projection neurons (PNs), that connect to higher neural circuits generating the attraction response to cVA. Functional imaging of these PNs shows that the DA1 glomerulus is inhibited by simultaneous activation of Or65a OSNs, which leads to a suppression of the attraction response to cVA. The behavioral role of postmating cVA exposure is substantiated by the observation that matings with starved males, which produce less cVA, do not alter the female response. Moreover, exposure to synthetic cVA abolishes attraction and decreases sexual receptivity in unmated females. Taken together, Or65a mediates an aversive effect of cVA and may accordingly regulate remating, through concurrent behavioral modulation in males and females.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Arthropod Antennae / physiology
  • Courtship
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Male
  • Oleic Acids / metabolism*
  • Pheromones / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / metabolism*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / cytology
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Smell / physiology*

Substances

  • Acetates
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Oleic Acids
  • Or65a protein, Drosophila
  • Or67d protein, Drosophila
  • Pheromones
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Odorant
  • cis-vaccenyl acetate