The neural basis for a persistent internal state in Drosophila females
Sustained changes in mood or action require persistent changes in neural activity, but it has been difficult to identify the neural circuit mechanisms that underlie persistent activity and contribute to long-lasting changes in behavior. Here, we show that a subset of Doublesex+ pC1 neurons in the Drosophila female brain, called pC1d/e, can drive minutes-long changes in female behavior in the presence of males. Using automated reconstruction of a volume electron microscopic (EM) image of the female brain, we map all inputs and outputs to both pC1d and pC1e. This reveals strong recurrent connectivity between, in particular, pC1d/e neurons and a specific subset of Fruitless+ neurons called aIPg. We additionally find that pC1d/e activation drives long-lasting persistent neural activity in brain areas and cells overlapping with the pC1d/e neural network, including both Doublesex+ and Fruitless+ neurons. Our work thus links minutes-long persistent changes in behavior with persistent neural activity and recurrent circuit architecture in the female brain.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
Article and author information
National Institutes of Health (RF1 MH117815-01)
- Mala Murthy
National Institutes of Health (R01 NS104899)
- Mala Murthy
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Faculty Scholar)
- Mala Murthy
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Megan R Carey, Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal
- Received: May 30, 2020
- Accepted: November 18, 2020
- Accepted Manuscript published: November 23, 2020 (version 1)
- Accepted Manuscript updated: November 24, 2020 (version 2)
- Version of Record published: January 6, 2021 (version 3)
- Version of Record updated: January 14, 2021 (version 4)
- Version of Record updated: January 19, 2021 (version 5)
- Version of Record updated: May 20, 2021 (version 6)
- Version of Record updated: September 29, 2021 (version 7)
© 2020, Deutsch 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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