Olfactory associative learning in Drosophila is mediated by synaptic plasticity between the Kenyon cells of the mushroom body and their output neurons. Both Kenyon cells and their inputs from projection neurons are cholinergic, yet little is known about the physiological function of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in learning in adult flies. Here we show that aversive olfactory learning in adult flies requires type A muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChR-A), particularly in the gamma subtype of Kenyon cells. mAChR-A inhibits odor responses and is localized in Kenyon cell dendrites. Moreover, mAChR-A knockdown impairs the learning-associated depression of odor responses in a mushroom body output neuron. Our results suggest that mAChR-A function in Kenyon cell dendrites is required for synaptic plasticity between Kenyon cells and their output neurons.
- Moshe Parnas
- Andrew C Lin
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Mani Ramaswami, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
© 2019, Bielopolski et al.
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