Navigation Links
Scripps Research Institute study shows how brain cells shape temperature preferences
Date:1/29/2013

JUPITER, FL, January 29, 2013 While the wooly musk ox may like it cold, fruit flies definitely do not. They like it hot, or at least warm. In fact, their preferred optimum temperature is very similar to that of humans76 degrees F.

Scientists have known that a type of brain cell circuit helps regulate a variety of innate and learned behavior in animals, including their temperature preferences. What has been a mystery is whether or not this behavior stems from a specific set of neurons (brain cells) or overlapping sets.

Now, a new study from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) shows that a complex set of overlapping neuronal circuits works in concert to drive temperature preferences in the fruit fly Drosophila by affecting a single target, a heavy bundle of neurons within the fly brain known as the mushroom body. These nerve bundles, which get their name from their bulbous shape, play critical roles in learning and memory.

The study, published in the January 30, 2013 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, shows that dopaminergic circuitsbrain cells that synthesize dopamine, a common neurotransmitterwithin the mushroom body do not encode a single signal, but rather perform a more complex computation of environmental conditions.

"We found that dopamine neurons process multiple inputs to generate multiple outputsthe same set of nerves process sensory information and reward-avoidance learning," said TSRI Assistant Professor Seth Tomchik. "This discovery helps lay the groundwork to better understand how information is processed in the brain. A similar set of neurons is involved in behavior preferences in humansfrom basic rewards to more complex learning and memory."

Using imaging techniques that allow scientists to visualize neuron activity in real time, the study illuminated the response of dopaminergic neurons to changes in temperature. The behavioral roles were then examined by silencing various subsets of these neurons. Flies were tested using a temperature gradient plate; the flies moved from one place to another to express their temperature preferences.

As it turns out, genetic silencing of dopaminergic neurons innervating the mushroom body substantially reduces cold avoidance behavior. "If you give the fly a choice, it will pick San Diego weather every time," Tomchik said, "but if you shut down those nerves, they suddenly don't mind being in Minnesota."

The study also showed dopaminergic neurons respond to cooling with sudden a burst of activity at the onset of a drop in temperature, before settling down to a lower steady-state level. This initial burst of dopamine could function to increase neuronal plasticitythe ability to adaptduring periods of environmental change when the organism needs to acquire new associative memories or update previous associations with temperature changes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Eric Sauter
esauter@scripps.edu
267-337-3859
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Scripps Florida scientists uncover potential drug target to block cell death in Parkinsons disease
2. Scripps physicians call for change in cancer tissue handling
3. $1 million Kenan Trust Grant extends support of Scripps Florida education outreach
4. Scripps Research Institute scientists describe elusive replication machinery of flu viruses
5. Scripps Research Institute team identifies a potential cause of Parkinsons disease
6. Scripps Florida scientists design molecule that reverses some fragile X syndrome defects
7. Scripps Research Institute scientists show copper facilitates prion disease
8. Scripps Research scientists show potent new compound virtually eliminates HIV in cell culture
9. Scripps Research Institute wins $77 million to develop AIDS vaccine center
10. Scripps Florida scientists identify critical quality control for cell growth
11. Scripps Research Institute Scientists Develop Alternative to Gene Therapy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scripps Research Institute study shows how brain cells shape temperature preferences
(Date:2/26/2017)...  Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil ... investigation, corrections and monitoring, announces the appointment of ... "Too often, too many offenders return to jail ... trying to tackle this ongoing problem and improve ... members. While significant steps are underway, Securus continues to ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 22, 2017 With the biometrics market ... identifies four technologies that innovative and agile startups ... share in the changing competitive landscape: multifactor authentication ...   "Companies can no longer afford ... says Dimitrios Pavlakis , Industry Analyst at ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... Der weltweite Biobanking-Sektor wird bis ... Gespräch mit mehr als 50 Vertretern aus verschiedenen Branchen wurde ... um diese Prognose zu realisieren. ... Zu den Schwierigkeiten ... Mittel für die Biobank, die Implementierung Zeit sparender Technologien, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)...  Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx) today announced ... the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that ... company,s new CancerSELECT ™ 125 test. CancerSELECT ... test that includes microsatellite instability status (MSI), a ... checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies. CancerSELECT 125 will be available ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... March ... ... are substances that interfere with the ability of endogenous hormones to regulate ... inhibiting ligand binding activity (antagonists), EDCs produce adverse reproductive, neurological, proliferative, and ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... ... March 20, 2017 , ... Charm Sciences, ... & play system that counts Peel Plate microbial test colonies, stores plate images, ... stand-alone unit has an internal computer, and is accurate within 10% of an ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 Western Institutional Review ... ethical review of clinical research, announced today the launch ... (SRS) for NIH-funded multi-site research. As the ... institution clients, WIRB has an extensive background in reviewing ... status as the IRB of record for the majority ...
Breaking Biology Technology: