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Chaturvedi, R., Reddig, K., Li, H.S. (2014). Long-distance mechanism of neurotransmitter recycling mediated by glial network facilitates visual function in Drosophila.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111(7): 2812--2817.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0224206
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Neurons rely on glia to recycle neurotransmitters such as glutamate and histamine for sustained signaling. Both mammalian and insect glia form intercellular gap-junction networks, but their functional significance underlying neurotransmitter recycling is unknown. Using the Drosophila visual system as a genetic model, here we show that a multicellular glial network transports neurotransmitter metabolites between perisynaptic glia and neuronal cell bodies to mediate long-distance recycling of neurotransmitter. In the first visual neuropil (lamina), which contains a multilayer glial network, photoreceptor axons release histamine to hyperpolarize secondary sensory neurons. Subsequently, the released histamine is taken up by perisynaptic epithelial glia and converted into inactive carcinine through conjugation with β-alanine for transport. In contrast to a previous assumption that epithelial glia deliver carcinine directly back to photoreceptor axons for histamine regeneration within the lamina, we detected both carcinine and β-alanine in the fly retina, where they are found in photoreceptor cell bodies and surrounding pigment glial cells. Downregulating Inx2 gap junctions within the laminar glial network causes β-alanine accumulation in retinal pigment cells and impairs carcinine synthesis, leading to reduced histamine levels and photoreceptor synaptic vesicles. Consequently, visual transmission is impaired and the fly is less responsive in a visual alert analysis compared with wild type. Our results suggest that a gap junction-dependent laminar and retinal glial network transports histamine metabolites between perisynaptic glia and photoreceptor cell bodies to mediate a novel, long-distance mechanism of neurotransmitter recycling, highlighting the importance of glial networks in the regulation of neuronal functions.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC3932938 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
    Title
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Publication Year
    1915-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0027-8424
    Data From Reference
    Alleles (16)
    Genes (14)
    Insertions (3)
    Transgenic Constructs (4)
    Transcripts (2)