Individual neurons can undergo drastic structural changes, known as neuronal remodeling or structural plasticity. One example of this is in response to hormones, such as during puberty in mammals or metamorphosis in insects. However, in each of these examples it remains unclear whether the remodeled neuron resumes prior patterns of connectivity, and if so, whether the persistent circuits drive similar behaviors. Here, we utilize a well-characterized neural circuit in the Drosophila larva: the Moonwalking Descending Neuron (MDN) circuit. We previously showed that larval MDN induces backward crawling, and synapses onto the Pair1 interneuron to inhibit forward crawling (Carreira-Rosario et al., 2018). MDN is remodeled during metamorphosis and regulates backward walking in the adult fly. We investigated whether Pair1 is remodeled during metamorphosis and functions within the MDN circuit during adulthood. We assayed morphology and molecular markers to demonstrate that Pair1 is remodeled during metamorphosis and persists in the adult fly. MDN-Pair1 connectivity is lost during early pupal stages, when both neurons are severely pruned back, but connectivity is re-established at mid-pupal stages and persist into the adult. In the adult, optogenetic activation of Pair1 resulted in arrest of forward locomotion, similar to what is observed in larvae. Thus, the MDN-Pair1 neurons are an interneuronal circuit - a pair of synaptically connected interneurons – that is re-established during metamorphosis, yet generates similar locomotor behavior at both larval and adult stages.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Chris Q Doe
- Kristen Lee
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States
© 2021, Lee & Doe
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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