Central peptidergic modulation of peripheral olfactory responsesReport as inadecuate

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BMC Biology

, 15:35

First Online: 05 May 2017Received: 26 October 2016Accepted: 19 April 2017DOI: 10.1186-s12915-017-0374-6

Cite this article as: Lee, S., Kim, YJ. & Jones, W.D. BMC Biol 2017 15: 35. doi:10.1186-s12915-017-0374-6


BackgroundAnimal olfactory systems detect volatile environmental chemicals and integrate this information to direct the discovery of food and mates as well as danger avoidance. Rather than remaining constant, olfactory response thresholds are modulated by internal and external cues to adapt odor-guided behaviors to changing conditions.

ResultsHere, we show in Drosophila melanogaster that neuropeptide F NPF modulates the responses of a specific population of antennal olfactory sensory neurons OSNs to food-derived odors. We show that knock-down of NPF in NPF neurons specifically reduces the responses of the ab3A neurons to ethyl butyrate, a volatile ester found in apples and other fruits. Knock-down of the NPF receptor NPFR in the ab3A neuron reduces their responses and disrupts the ability of the flies to locate food. We also identify a sexual dimorphism in ab3A responsiveness: ab3A neurons in females immediately post-eclosion are less responsive to ethyl butyrate than those of both age-matched males and older females. Not only does this change correlate with brain NPF levels, but also NPFR mutants show no such sexual dimorphism. Finally, by way of mechanism, we show that mutation of NPFR seems to cause intracellular clustering of OR22a, the odorant receptor expressed in the ab3A neurons.

ConclusionsInterestingly, this modulation of the peripheral odorant responsiveness of the ab3A neurons by NPF is distinct from the modulation of presynaptic gain in the ab3A neurons previously observed with the similarly named but distinct neuropeptide sNPF. Rather than affecting the strength of the output at the level of the first synapse in the antennal lobe, NPF-NPFR signaling may affect the process of odorant detection itself by causing intracellular OR clustering.

KeywordsInsect olfaction Drosophila melanogaster Neuromodulation Neuropeptide NPF AbbreviationsEBEthyl butyrate

JHJuvenile hormone

NPFNeuropeptide F

NPFRNPF receptor

OROdorant receptor

OSNOlfactory sensory neuron


sNPFRsNPF receptor

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12915-017-0374-6 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Author: Sion Lee - Young-Joon Kim - Walton D. Jones

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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