|Citation||Raghu, S.V., Joesch, M., Sigrist, S.J., Borst, A., Reiff, D.F. (2009). Synaptic organization of lobula plate tangential cells in Drosophila: Dalpha7 cholinergic receptors. J. Neurogenet. 23(1): 200--209. (Export to RIS)|
|Publication Type||Research paper|
|PubMed Abstract||The nervous system of seeing animals derives information about optic flow in two subsequent steps. First, local motion vectors are calculated from moving retinal images, and second, the spatial distribution of these vectors is analyzed on the dendrites of large downstream neurons. In dipteran flies, this second step relies on a set of motion-sensitive lobula plate tangential cells (LPTCs), which have been studied in great detail in large fly species. Yet, studies on neurons that convey information to LPTCs and neuroanatomical investigations that enable a mechanistic understanding of the underlying dendritic computations in LPTCs are rare. We investigated the subcellular distribution of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on two sets of LPTCs: vertical system (VS) and horizontal system (HS) cells in Drosophila melanogaster. In this paper, we describe that both cell types express Dalpha7-type nAChR subunits specifically on higher order dendritic branches, similar to the expression of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. These findings support a model in which directional selectivity of LPTCs is achieved by the dendritic integration of excitatory, cholinergic, and inhibitory GABA-ergic input from local motion detectors with opposite preferred direction. Nonetheless, whole-cell recordings in mutant flies without Dalpha7 nAChRs revealed that direction selectivity of VS and HS cells is largely retained. In addition, mutant LPTCs were responsive to acetylcholine and remaining nAChR receptors were labeled by alpha-bungarotoxin. These results in LPTCs with genetically manipulated excitatory input synapses suggest a robust cellular implementation of dendritic processing that warrants direction selectivity. The underlying mechanism that ensures appropriate nAChR-mediated synaptic currents and the functional implications of separate sets or heteromultimeric nAChRs can now be addressed in this system.|
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|Language of Publication||English|
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|Title||Journal of Neurogenetics|
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