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Published January 22, 2020 | Accepted Version + Submitted + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Neurons that Function within an Integrator to Promote a Persistent Behavioral State in Drosophila


Innate behaviors involve both reflexive motor programs and enduring internal states, but how these responses are coordinated by the brain is not clear. In Drosophila, male-specific P1 interneurons promote courtship song, as well as a persistent internal state that prolongs courtship and enhances aggressiveness. However, P1 neurons themselves are not persistently active. Here, we identify pCd neurons as persistently active, indirect P1 targets that are required for P1-evoked persistent courtship and aggression. Acute activation of pCd neurons alone is inefficacious but enhances and prolongs courtship or aggression promoted by female cues. Brief female exposure induces a persistent increase in male aggressiveness, an effect abrogated by interruption of pCd activity. pCd activity is not sufficient but necessary for persistent physiological activity, implying an essential role in a persistence network. Thus, P1 neurons coordinate both command-like control of courtship song and a persistent internal state of social arousal mediated by pCd neurons.

Additional Information

© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Received 12 September 2019, Revised 8 October 2019, Accepted 18 October 2019, Available online 3 December 2019. We thank H. Inagaki for comments on the manuscript, B. Pfeiffer and G.M. Rubin for fly strains, A.M. Wong for help with initial development of all-optical stimulation and imaging, A. Sanchez for maintaining fly stocks, C. Chiu and X. Da for lab management, and G. Mancuso for administrative assistance. This work was supported in part by NIH grant R01 DA031389. D.J.A. is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Data and Code Availability: Source data and analysis code supporting the current study have not been deposited in a public repository, but are available from the corresponding author on request. Author Contributions: D.J.A. and Y.J. conceived the project, designed experiments, and co-wrote the manuscript; Y.J. performed all experiments, collected and analyzed data, and prepared figures; A.K. performed mathematical modeling studies; H.C. generated R41A01-AD, R41A01-DBD, and NLS-GCaMP6s flies; and F.M. and A.C.-C. provided unpublished LexAop-GtACR flies. The authors declare no competing interests.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - nihms-1542577.pdf

Submitted - 735985.full.pdf

Supplemental Material - 1-s2.0-S0896627319309237-mmc1.pdf


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