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Dreyer, A.P., Martin, M.M., Fulgham, C.V., Jabr, D.A., Bai, L., Beshel, J., Cavanaugh, D.J. (2019). A circadian output center controlling feeding:fasting rhythms in Drosophila.  PLoS Genet. 15(11): e1008478.
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Research paper

Circadian rhythms allow animals to coordinate behavioral and physiological processes with respect to one another and to synchronize these processes to external environmental cycles. In most animals, circadian rhythms are produced by core clock neurons in the brain that generate and transmit time-of-day signals to downstream tissues, driving overt rhythms. The neuronal pathways controlling clock outputs, however, are not well understood. Furthermore, it is unclear how the central clock modulates multiple distinct circadian outputs. Identifying the cellular components and neuronal circuitry underlying circadian regulation is increasingly recognized as a critical step in the effort to address health pathologies linked to circadian disruption, including heart disease and metabolic disorders. Here, building on the conserved components of circadian and metabolic systems in mammals and Drosophila melanogaster, we used a recently developed feeding monitor to characterize the contribution to circadian feeding rhythms of two key neuronal populations in the Drosophila pars intercerebralis (PI), which is functionally homologous to the mammalian hypothalamus. We demonstrate that thermogenetic manipulations of PI neurons expressing the neuropeptide SIFamide (SIFa) as well as mutations of the SIFa gene degrade feeding:fasting rhythms. In contrast, manipulations of a nearby population of PI neurons that express the Drosophila insulin-like peptides (DILPs) affect total food consumption but leave feeding rhythms intact. The distinct contribution of these two PI cell populations to feeding is accompanied by vastly different neuronal connectivity as determined by trans-Tango synaptic mapping. These results for the first time identify a non-clock cell neuronal population in Drosophila that regulates feeding rhythms and furthermore demonstrate dissociable control of circadian and homeostatic aspects of feeding regulation by molecularly-defined neurons in a putative circadian output hub.

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PubMed Central ID
PMC6860455 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Publication Type
    PLoS Genet.
    PLoS Genetics
    Publication Year
    1553-7404 1553-7390
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