The mechanism through which the brain senses the metabolic state, enabling an animal to regulate food consumption, and discriminate between nutritional and non-nutritional foods is a fundamental question. Flies choose the sweeter non-nutritive sugar, L-glucose, over the nutritive D-glucose if they are not starved. However, under starvation conditions, they switch their preference to D-glucose, and this occurs independent of peripheral taste neurons. Here, we found that eliminating the TRPγ channel impairs the ability of starved flies to choose D-glucose. This food selection depends on trpγ expression in neurosecretory cells in the brain that express Diuretic hormone 44 (DH44). Loss of trpγ increases feeding, alters the physiology of the crop, which is the fly stomach equivalent, and decreases intracellular sugars and glycogen levels. Moreover, survival of starved trpγ flies is reduced. Expression of trpγ in DH44 neurons reverses these deficits. These results highlight roles for TRPγ in coordinating feeding with the metabolic state through expression in DH44 neuroendocrine cells.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1-7, and Figure supplements 1-7.
- Craig Montell
- Craig Montell
- Craig Montell
- Youngseok Lee
- Youngseok Lee
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Claude Desplan, New York University, United States
© 2022, Dhakal 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.
Perceptual decisions about sensory input are influenced by fluctuations in ongoing neural activity, most prominently driven by attention and neuromodulator systems. It is currently unknown if neuromodulator activity and attention differentially modulate perceptual decision-making and/or whether neuromodulatory systems in fact control attentional processes. To investigate the effects of two distinct neuromodulatory systems and spatial attention on perceptual decisions, we pharmacologically elevated cholinergic (through donepezil) and catecholaminergic (through atomoxetine) levels in humans performing a visuo-spatial attention task, while we measured electroencephalography (EEG). Both attention and catecholaminergic enhancement improved decision-making at the behavioral and algorithmic level, as reflected in increased perceptual sensitivity and the modulation of the drift rate parameter derived from drift diffusion modeling. Univariate analyses of EEG data time-locked to the attentional cue, the target stimulus, and the motor response further revealed that attention and catecholaminergic enhancement both modulated pre-stimulus cortical excitability, cue- and stimulus-evoked sensory activity, as well as parietal evidence accumulation signals. Interestingly, we observed both similar, unique, and interactive effects of attention and catecholaminergic neuromodulation on these behavioral, algorithmic, and neural markers of the decision-making process. Thereby, this study reveals an intricate relationship between attentional and catecholaminergic systems and advances our understanding about how these systems jointly shape various stages of perceptual decision-making.
The relationship between obesity and human brain structure is incompletely understood. Using diffusion-weighted MRI from ∼30,000 UK Biobank participants, we test the hypothesis that obesity (waist-to-hip ratio, WHR) is associated with regional differences in two micro-structural MRI metrics: isotropic volume fraction (ISOVF), an index of free water, and intra-cellular volume fraction (ICVF), an index of neurite density. We observed significant associations with obesity in two coupled but distinct brain systems: a prefrontal/temporal/striatal system associated with ISOVF and a medial temporal/occipital/striatal system associated with ICVF. The ISOVF~WHR system colocated with expression of genes enriched for innate immune functions, decreased glial density, and high mu opioid (MOR) and other neurotransmitter receptor density. Conversely, the ICVF~WHR system co-located with expression of genes enriched for G-protein coupled receptors and decreased density of MOR and other receptors. To test whether these distinct brain phenotypes might differ in terms of their underlying shared genetics or relationship to maps of the inflammatory marker C-reactive Protein (CRP), we estimated the genetic correlations between WHR and ISOVF (rg = 0.026, P = 0.36) and ICVF (rg = 0.112, P < 9×10−4) as well as comparing correlations between WHR maps and equivalent CRP maps for ISOVF and ICVF (P<0.05). These correlational results are consistent with a two-way mechanistic model whereby genetically determined differences in neurite density in the medial temporal system may contribute to obesity, whereas water content in the prefrontal system could reflect a consequence of obesity mediated by innate immune system activation.