Figure 8. | Recognition of familiar food activates feeding via an endocrine serotonin signal in Caenorhabditis elegans

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Recognition of familiar food activates feeding via an endocrine serotonin signal in Caenorhabditis elegans

Figure 8.

Figure 8.
Download figureOpen in new tabDownload powerpointFigure 8. Serotonin from ADF activates feeding in response to familiar food mainly by directly activating SER-7 in MC pharyngeal motor neurons. Active SER-7 in MC (and possibly in M4) acts mainly via cholinergic transmission from MC to the pharyngeal muscles.

(AB) tph-1 expression in ADF, but not in NSM, restores feeding rate in the tph-1 null mutant. The rescue effect is suppressed by loss of ser-7, but not by loss of mod-5. No difference was found in feeding rates between the tph-1 single null mutant, the ser-7 single null mutant and the tph-1; ser-7 double null mutant. The average values of the feeding rates presented in (A) are 266.1 ± 3.0, 207.7 ± 1.9, 206.6 ± 4.2, 277.2 ± 6.0, 261.1 ± 5.3, 216.4 ± 4.0, 267.3 ± 3.1, 217.5 ± 2.8, 204.1 ± 3.0 and 216.9 ± 1.8 in order. (CD) ADF-minus animals, but not NSM-minus animals, feed significantly less in response to familiar food. (E) Expression of ser-7 cDNA driven either by the flp-2 promoter or by the flp-21 promoter (MC, M4, and other neurons) but not by the ser-7b promoter (M4 only) fully restored the feeding rate in the ser-7 null mutant in response to serotonin. The rescue effect was suppressed by blocking cholinergic transmission from MC to the pharyngeal muscles. #Pharyngeal pumping rate was lower in the eat-2; ser-7 double null mutant than the eat-2 single null mutant (p<0.001) and the ser-7 single null mutant (p=0.002). The difference suggests that acetylcholine marginally activates pumping in an EAT-2-independent manner and that there is residual acetylcholine release in absence of SER-7 in response to serotonin. No difference in feeding rates was found between the eat-2; ser-7 mutant expressing pflp-21::gfp and the mutant expressing pflp-21::ser-7 cDNA. The average values of the feeding rates presented in (E) are 73.6 ± 3.3, 12.2 ± 1.8, 39.3 ± 7.1, 51.2 ± 8.9, 117.8 ± 13.7, 107.7 ± 10.4, 132.6 ± 10.6, 16.9 ± 3.1, 2.9 ± 1.0, 8.3 ± 4.1 and 15.6 ± 1.4 in order. (F) Expression of ser-7 cDNA driven either by the flp-2 promoter or by the flp-21 promoter fully restored the feeding rate in the ser-7 null mutant in response to familiar food. Expression of ser-7 cDNA in M4 (and occasionally in M2) driven by the ser-7b promoter also increased the feeding rate, but the effect was relatively small. The average values of the feeding rates presented in (F) are 189.7 ± 2.6, 194.9 ± 3.4, 212.0 ± 5.1, 245.1 ± 4.7, 240.7 ± 4.6 and 253.6 ± 2.5 in order. Data shown as mean ± SEM, n.s., not significant (p≥0.05), *p<0.05, ***p<0.001; for (AB) and (EF), one-way ANOVA, post hoc Tukey test, for (CD), unpaired t-test and Mann–Whitney U test (two-tailed). The number of animals tested (n ≥ 3 independent assays per each group) is shown on each bar. ‘0’ and ‘wt’ in this figure indicate absence of transgene and wild type, respectively.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00329.010