skip to main content

Title: Compartment specific regulation of sleep by mushroom body requires GABA and dopaminergic signaling

Sleep is a fundamental behavioral state important for survival and is universal in animals with sufficiently complex nervous systems. As a highly conserved neurobehavioral state, sleep has been described in species ranging from jellyfish to humans. Biogenic amines like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine have been shown to be critical for sleep regulation across species but the precise circuit mechanisms underlying how amines control persistence of sleep, arousal and wakefulness remain unclear. The fruit fly,Drosophila melanogaster, provides a powerful model system for the study of sleep and circuit mechanisms underlying state transitions and persistence of states to meet the organisms motivational and cognitive needs. InDrosophila, two neuropils in the central brain, the mushroom body (MB) and the central complex (CX) have been shown to influence sleep homeostasis and receive aminergic neuromodulator input critical to sleep–wake switch. Dopamine neurons (DANs) are prevalent neuromodulator inputs to the MB but the mechanisms by which they interact with and regulate sleep- and wake-promoting neurons within MB are unknown. Here we investigate the role of subsets of PAM-DANs that signal wakefulness and project to wake-promoting compartments of the MB. We find that PAM-DANs are GABA responsive and require GABAA-Rdl receptor in regulating sleep. In mapping the pathways downstream of PAM neurons innervating γ5 and β′2 MB compartments we find that wakefulness is regulated by both DopR1 and DopR2 receptors in downstream Kenyon cells (KCs) and mushroom body output neurons (MBONs). Taken together, we have identified and characterized a dopamine modulated sleep microcircuit within the mushroom body that has previously been shown to convey information about positive and negative valence critical for memory formation. These studies will pave way for understanding how flies balance sleep, wakefulness and arousal.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    TheDrosophilamushroom body (MB) is an important model system for studying the synaptic mechanisms of associative learning. In this system, coincidence of odor-evoked calcium influx and dopaminergic input in the presynaptic terminals of Kenyon cells (KCs), the principal neurons of the MB, triggers long-term depression (LTD), which plays a critical role in olfactory learning. However, it is controversial whether such synaptic plasticity is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in odor-evoked calcium activity in the KC presynaptic terminals. Here, we address this question by inducing LTD by pairing odor presentation with optogenetic activation of dopaminergic neurons (DANs). This allows us to rigorously compare the changes at the presynaptic and postsynaptic sites in the same conditions. By imaging presynaptic acetylcholine release in the condition where LTD is reliably observed in the postsynaptic calcium signals, we show that neurotransmitter release from KCs is depressed selectively in the MB compartments innervated by activated DANs, demonstrating the presynaptic nature of LTD. However, total odor-evoked calcium activity of the KC axon bundles does not show concurrent depression. We further conduct calcium imaging in individual presynaptic boutons and uncover the highly heterogeneous nature of calcium plasticity. Namely, only a subset of boutons, which are strongly activated by associated odors, undergo calcium activity depression, while weakly responding boutons show potentiation. Thus, our results suggest an unexpected nonlinear relationship between presynaptic calcium influx and the results of plasticity, challenging the simple view of cooperative actions of presynaptic calcium and dopaminergic input.

    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Making inferences about the computations performed by neuronal circuits from synapse-level connectivity maps is an emerging opportunity in neuroscience. The mushroom body (MB) is well positioned for developing and testing such an approach due to its conserved neuronal architecture, recently completed dense connectome, and extensive prior experimental studies of its roles in learning, memory, and activity regulation. Here, we identify new components of the MB circuit in Drosophila , including extensive visual input and MB output neurons (MBONs) with direct connections to descending neurons. We find unexpected structure in sensory inputs, in the transfer of information about different sensory modalities to MBONs, and in the modulation of that transfer by dopaminergic neurons (DANs). We provide insights into the circuitry used to integrate MB outputs, connectivity between the MB and the central complex and inputs to DANs, including feedback from MBONs. Our results provide a foundation for further theoretical and experimental work. 
    more » « less
  3. Dopaminergic neurons with distinct projection patterns and physiological properties compose memory subsystems in a brain. However, it is poorly understood whether or how they interact during complex learning. Here, we identify a feedforward circuit formed between dopamine subsystems and show that it is essential for second-order conditioning, an ethologically important form of higher-order associative learning. The Drosophila mushroom body comprises a series of dopaminergic compartments, each of which exhibits distinct memory dynamics. We find that a slow and stable memory compartment can serve as an effective ‘teacher’ by instructing other faster and transient memory compartments via a single key interneuron, which we identify by connectome analysis and neurotransmitter prediction. This excitatory interneuron acquires enhanced response to reward-predicting odor after first-order conditioning and, upon activation, evokes dopamine release in the ‘student’ compartments. These hierarchical connections between dopamine subsystems explain distinct properties of first- and second-order memory long known by behavioral psychologists. 
    more » « less
  4. Animals employ diverse learning rules and synaptic plasticity dynamics to record temporal and statistical information about the world. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this diversity are poorly understood. The anatomically defined compartments of the insect mushroom body function as parallel units of associative learning, with different learning rates, memory decay dynamics and flexibility (Aso and Rubin, 2016). Here, we show that nitric oxide (NO) acts as a neurotransmitter in a subset of dopaminergic neurons in Drosophila. NO’s effects develop more slowly than those of dopamine and depend on soluble guanylate cyclase in postsynaptic Kenyon cells. NO acts antagonistically to dopamine; it shortens memory retention and facilitates the rapid updating of memories. The interplay of NO and dopamine enables memories stored in local domains along Kenyon cell axons to be specialized for predicting the value of odors based only on recent events. Our results provide key mechanistic insights into how diverse memory dynamics are established in parallel memory systems. 
    more » « less
  5. Morrison, Abigail (Ed.)
    The Drosophila mushroom body exhibits dopamine dependent synaptic plasticity that underlies the acquisition of associative memories. Recordings of dopamine neurons in this system have identified signals related to external reinforcement such as reward and punishment. However, other factors including locomotion, novelty, reward expectation, and internal state have also recently been shown to modulate dopamine neurons. This heterogeneity is at odds with typical modeling approaches in which these neurons are assumed to encode a global, scalar error signal. How is dopamine dependent plasticity coordinated in the presence of such heterogeneity? We develop a modeling approach that infers a pattern of dopamine activity sufficient to solve defined behavioral tasks, given architectural constraints informed by knowledge of mushroom body circuitry. Model dopamine neurons exhibit diverse tuning to task parameters while nonetheless producing coherent learned behaviors. Notably, reward prediction error emerges as a mode of population activity distributed across these neurons. Our results provide a mechanistic framework that accounts for the heterogeneity of dopamine activity during learning and behavior. 
    more » « less