Glial expression of DmMANF is required for the regulation of activity, sleep and circadian rhythms in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster

Eur J Neurosci. 2021 Sep;54(5):5785-5797. doi: 10.1111/ejn.15171. Epub 2021 Mar 17.


DmMANF, Drosophila melanogaster mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (DmMANF) is an evolutionarily conserved orthologue of mammalian MANF. This neurotrophic factor exerts many functions in the Drosophila brain, particularly those dependent on glial cells. As we found in our earlier study, downregulation of DmMANF in glia induces degeneration of glial cells in the first optic neuropil (lamina) where DmMANF abundance is especially high. In the present study, we observed that changes in the level of DmMANF in two types of glia, astrocyte-like glia (AlGl) and ensheathing glia (EnGl), affect activity and sleep of flies. Interestingly, a proper level of DmMANF in AlGl seems to be important in guiding processes of pigment dispersing factor (PDF)-expressing clock neurons. This is supported by our finding that DmMANF overexpression in AlGl leads to structural changes in the architecture of the PDF-positive arborization in the brain. Finally, we detected that DmMANF also affects rhythms in glia themselves, as circadian oscillations in expression of the catalytic α subunit of the sodium pump in the lamina epithelial glia were abolished after DmMANF silencing. DmMANF expressed in AlGl and EnGl seems to affect the activity of neurons leading to changes in behaviour.

Keywords: astrocyte-like glia; circadian clock; ensheathing glia; glial oscillators; visual system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Drosophila Proteins* / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins* / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Sleep


  • Drosophila Proteins