Open Close
Martín-Peña, A., Acebes, A., Rodríguez, J.R., Chevalier, V., Casas-Tinto, S., Triphan, T., Strauss, R., Ferrús, A. (2014). Cell types and coincident synapses in the ellipsoid body of Drosophila.  Europ. J. Neurosci. 39(10): 1586--1601.
FlyBase ID
Publication Type
Research paper

Cellular ultrastructures for signal integration are unknown in any nervous system. The ellipsoid body (EB) of the Drosophila brain is thought to control locomotion upon integration of various modalities of sensory signals with the animal internal status. However, the expected excitatory and inhibitory input convergence that virtually all brain centres exhibit is not yet described in the EB. Based on the EB expression domains of genetic constructs from the choline acetyl transferase (Cha), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) genes, we identified a new set of neurons with the characteristic ring-shaped morphology (R neurons) which are presumably cholinergic, in addition to the existing GABA-expressing neurons. The R1 morphological subtype is represented in the Cha- and TH-expressing classes. In addition, using transmission electron microscopy, we identified a novel type of synapse in the EB, which exhibits the precise array of two independent active zones over the same postsynaptic dendritic domain, that we named 'agora'. This array is compatible with a coincidence detector role, and represents ~8% of all EB synapses in Drosophila. Presumably excitatory R neurons contribute to coincident synapses. Functional silencing of EB neurons by driving genetically tetanus toxin expression either reduces walking speed or alters movement orientation depending on the targeted R neuron subset, thus revealing functional specialisations in the EB for locomotion control.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
Associated Information
Associated Files
Other Information
Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Europ. J. Neurosci.
    European Journal of Neuroscience
    Publication Year
    Data From Reference