1. Developmental Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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Neurotransmitter identity is acquired in a lineage-restricted manner in the Drosophila CNS

  1. Haluk Lacin  Is a corresponding author
  2. Hui-Min Chen
  3. Xi Long
  4. Robert H Singer
  5. Tzumin Lee
  6. James W Truman
  1. Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, United States
  2. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 10
  • Views 3,313
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e43701 doi: 10.7554/eLife.43701

Abstract

The vast majority of the adult fly ventral nerve cord is composed of 34 hemilineages, which are clusters of lineally related neurons. Neurons in these hemilineages use one of the three fast-acting neurotransmitters (acetylcholine, GABA, or glutamate) for communication. We generated a comprehensive neurotransmitter usage map for the entire ventral nerve cord. We did not find any cases of neurons using more than one neurotransmitter, but found that the acetylcholine specific gene ChAT is transcribed in many glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, but these transcripts typically do not leave the nucleus and are not translated. Importantly, our work uncovered a simple rule: All neurons within a hemilineage use the same neurotransmitter. Thus, neurotransmitter identity is acquired at the stem cell level. Our detailed transmitter- usage/lineage identity map will be a great resource for studying the developmental basis of behavior and deciphering how neuronal circuits function to regulate behavior.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Haluk Lacin

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    For correspondence
    lacinhaluk@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-2468-9618
  2. Hui-Min Chen

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Xi Long

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. Robert H Singer

    Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    Robert H Singer, Reviewing editor, eLife.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6725-0093
  5. Tzumin Lee

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  6. James W Truman

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9209-5435

Funding

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • Tzumin Lee
  • James W Truman

NIH Office of the Director (NS083086)

  • Robert H Singer

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. K VijayRaghavan, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India

Publication history

  1. Received: November 16, 2018
  2. Accepted: March 23, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 26, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 7, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2019, Lacin 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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