Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published December 18, 2012 | public
Journal Article Open

Octopamine Neurons Mediate Flight-Induced Modulation of Visual Processing in Drosophila


Background: Activity-dependent modulation of sensory systems has been documented in many organisms and is likely to be essential for appropriate processing of information during different behavioral states. However, the mechanisms underlying these phenomena remain poorly characterized. Results: We investigated the role of octopamine neurons in the flight-dependent modulation observed in visual interneurons in Drosophila. The vertical system (VS) cells exhibit a boost in their response to visual motion during flight compared to quiescence. Pharmacological application of octopamine evokes responses in quiescent flies that mimic those observed during flight, and octopamine cells that project to the optic lobes increase in activity during flight. Using genetic tools to manipulate the activity of octopamine neurons, we find that they are both necessary and sufficient for the flight-induced visual boost. Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence that endogenous release of octopamine is involved in state-dependent modulation of visual interneurons in flies.

Additional Information

© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Received: September 28, 2012; Revised: October 15, 2012; Accepted: October 16, 2012; Published: November 8, 2012. We would like to thank Anne Sustar for the confocal image of the Tdc2-Gal4 line and for helpful comments and aid in setting up fly lines for the paper. We would also like to thank Gaby Maimon for helpful discussion. This work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (0623527), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-10-1-0368), and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation (all to M.H.D.).

Attached Files

Supplemental Material - mmc1.pdf


Files (538.7 kB)
Name Size Download all
538.7 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023