Mating activates neuroendocrine pathways signaling hunger in Drosophila females

  1. Meghan Laturney
  2. Gabriella R Sterne
  3. Kristin Scott  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of California, Berkeley, United States

Abstract

Mated females reallocate resources to offspring production, causing changes to nutritional requirements and challenges to energy homeostasis. Although observed across species, the neural and endocrine mechanisms that regulate the nutritional needs of mated females are not well understood. Here, we find that mated Drosophila melanogaster females increase sugar intake, which is regulated by the activity of sexually dimorphic insulin receptor (Lgr3) neurons. In virgins, Lgr3+ cells have reduced activity as they receive inhibitory input from active, female specific pCd-2 cells, restricting sugar intake. During copulation, males deposit sex peptide into the female reproductive tract, which silences a three-tier mating status circuit and initiates the female postmating response. We show that pCd-2 neurons also become silenced after mating due to the direct synaptic input from the mating status circuit. Thus, in mated females pCd-2 inhibition is attenuated, activating downstream Lgr3+ neurons and promoting sugar intake. Together, this circuit transforms the mated signal into a long-term hunger signal. Our results demonstrate that the mating circuit alters nutrient sensing centers to increase feeding in mated females, providing a mechanism to increase intake in anticipation of the energetic costs associated with reproduction.

Data availability

All data generated and analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files

The following previously published data sets were used

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Meghan Laturney

    University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Gabriella R Sterne

    University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7221-648X
  3. Kristin Scott

    University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, United States
    For correspondence
    kscott@berkeley.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3150-7210

Funding

National Institutes of Health (R01DC013280)

  • Kristin Scott

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

Reviewing Editor

  1. Sonia Sen, Tata Institute for Genetics and Society, India

Version history

  1. Preprint posted: October 21, 2022 (view preprint)
  2. Received: November 23, 2022
  3. Accepted: May 13, 2023
  4. Accepted Manuscript published: May 15, 2023 (version 1)
  5. Version of Record published: May 30, 2023 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2023, Laturney 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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  1. Meghan Laturney
  2. Gabriella R Sterne
  3. Kristin Scott
(2023)
Mating activates neuroendocrine pathways signaling hunger in Drosophila females
eLife 12:e85117.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.85117

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.85117

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