Antagonistic serotonergic and octopaminergic neural circuits mediate food-dependent locomotory behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

Matthew A. Churgin, Richard J. McCloskey, Emily Peters, Christopher Fang-Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biogenic amines are conserved signaling molecules that link food cues to behavior and metabolism in a wide variety of organisms. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the biogenic amines serotonin (5-HT) and octopamine regulate a number of food-related behaviors. Using a novel method for long-term quantitative behavioral imaging, we show that 5-HT and octopamine jointly influence locomotor activity and quiescence in feeding and fasting hermaphrodites, and we define the neural circuits through which this modulation occurs. We show that 5-HT produced by the ADF neurons acts via the SER-5 receptor in muscles and neurons to suppress quiescent behavior and promote roaming in fasting worms, whereas 5-HT produced by the NSM neurons acts on the MOD-1 receptor in AIY neurons to promote low-amplitude locomotor behavior characteristic of well fed animals. Octopamine, produced by the RIC neurons, acts via SER-3 and SER-6 receptors in SIA neurons to promote roaming behaviors characteristic of fasting animals. Wefind that 5-HT signaling is required for animals to assume food-appropriate behavior, whereas octopamine signaling is required for animals to assume fasting-appropriate behavior.Therequirement for both neuro transmitters in both the feeding and fasting states enables increased behavioral adaptability. Our results define the molecular and neural pathways through which parallel biogenic amine signaling tunes behavior appropriately to nutrient conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7811-7823
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume37
Issue number33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 16
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 5-HT
  • Behavioral states
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Locomotion
  • Octopamine
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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