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C. elegans male sensory-motor neurons and dopaminergic support cells couple ejaculation and post-ejaculatory behaviors

  1. Brigitte LeBoeuf
  2. Paola Correa
  3. Changhoon Jee
  4. L. René García  Is a corresponding author
  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Texas A&M University, United States
  2. Texas A&M University, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 18
  • Views 1,998
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Cite this article as: eLife 2014;3:e02938 doi: 10.7554/eLife.02938

Abstract

The circuit structure and function underlying post-coital male behaviors remain poorly understood. Using mutant analysis, laser ablation, optogenetics and Ca2+ imaging, we observed that following C. elegans male copulation, the duration of post-coital lethargy is coupled to cellular events involved in ejaculation. We show that the SPV and SPD spicule-associated sensory neurons and the spicule socket neuronal support cells function with intromission circuit components, including the cholinergic SPC and PCB and the glutamatergic PCA sensory-motor neurons, to coordinate sex muscle contractions with initiation and continuation of sperm movement. Our observations suggest that the SPV and SPD and their associated dopamine-containing socket cells sense the intrauterine environment through cellular endings exposed at the spicule tips and regulate both sperm release into the hermaphrodite and the recovery from post-coital lethargy.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Brigitte LeBoeuf

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Paola Correa

    Texas A&M University, College Station, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Changhoon Jee

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. L. René García

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Texas A&M University, Texas, United States
    For correspondence
    rgarcia@bio.tamu.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Peggy Mason, University of Chicago, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: March 28, 2014
  2. Accepted: June 9, 2014
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 10, 2014 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 22, 2014 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2014, LeBoeuf et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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