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Martelli, C., Pech, U., Kobbenbring, S., Pauls, D., Bahl, B., Sommer, M.V., Pooryasin, A., Barth, J., Arias, C.W.P., Vassiliou, C., Luna, A.J.F., Poppinga, H., Richter, F.G., Wegener, C., Fiala, A., Riemensperger, T. (2017). SIFamide Translates Hunger Signals into Appetitive and Feeding Behavior in Drosophila.  Cell Rep. 20(2): 464--478.
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Animal behavior is, on the one hand, controlled by neuronal circuits that integrate external sensory stimuli and induce appropriate motor responses. On the other hand, stimulus-evoked or internally generated behavior can be influenced by motivational conditions, e.g., the metabolic state. Motivational states are determined by physiological parameters whose homeostatic imbalances are signaled to and processed within the brain, often mediated by modulatory peptides. Here, we investigate the regulation of appetitive and feeding behavior in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We report that four neurons in the fly brain that release SIFamide are integral elements of a complex neuropeptide network that regulates feeding. We show that SIFamidergic cells integrate feeding stimulating (orexigenic) and feeding suppressant (anorexigenic) signals to appropriately sensitize sensory circuits, promote appetitive behavior, and enhance food intake. Our study advances the cellular dissection of evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways that convert peripheral metabolic signals into feeding-related behavior.

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Obtained with permission from Cell Press.
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