Octopamine is essential for egg-laying in Drosophila melanogaster, but the neuronal pathways and receptors by which it regulates visceral muscles in the reproductive tract are not known. We find that the two octopamine receptors that have been previously implicated in egg-laying-OAMB and Octβ2R-are expressed in octopaminergic and glutamatergic neurons that project to the reproductive tract, peripheral ppk(+) neurons within the reproductive tract and epithelial cells that line the lumen of the oviducts. Further optogenetic and mutational analyses indicate that octopamine regulates both oviduct contraction and relaxation via Octβ2 and OAMB respectively. Interactions with glutamatergic pathways modify the effects of octopamine. Octopaminergic activation of Octβ2R on glutamatergic processes provides a possible mechanism by which octopamine initiates lateral oviduct contractions. We speculate that aminergic pathways in the oviposition circuit may be comparable to some of the mechanisms that regulate visceral muscle contractility in mammals.
Keywords: Cell biology; Molecular physiology; Neuroscience.
© 2022 The Author(s).