Serotonergic modulation of behavioural choice in drosophila melanogaster

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2017
Yurt, Pınar
The monoamine modulator, serotonin (5-HT) has previously been shown to be involved in sleep, feeding, learning and memory, and anxiety in fruit flies. In this study, we used a behavioural paradigm where the flies choose to respond to either to a looming visual stimulus or an appetitive tastant. Using the GAL4-UAS binary system, selectively we activated or inactivated serotonergic neurons in the fly brain to understand the mechanisms of competitive inhibition between appetitive/feeding and aversive/escape behavioural systems. Unlike the results of previous experiments that involved acute manipulations of serotonergic neurons, our results failed to yield a reduction of feeding when we inactivated the same serotonergic neurons chronically using Gal4-R50H05>UASKir2.1. Likewise, we failed to observe overfeeding when we activated the same serotonergic neurons chronically using Gal4-R50H05>UAS-NaChBac. This discrepancy can be accounted for the difference between acute and chronic manipulations. However, because the visual responsiveness increased upon chronic activation of the serotonergic neurons, we suggest that the serotonergic neurons of interest might be modulating sensory integration areas rather than hunger per se.

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Citation Formats
P. Yurt, “Serotonergic modulation of behavioural choice in drosophila melanogaster,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.