A pdf neuropeptide gene mutation and ablation of PDF neurons each cause severe abnormalities of behavioral circadian rhythms in Drosophila

Susan C.P. Renn, Jae H. Park, Michael Rosbash, Jeffrey C. Hall, Paul H. Taghert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

756 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanisms by which circadian pacemaker systems transmit timing information to control behavior are largely unknown. Here, we define two critical features of that mechanism in Drosophila. We first describe animals mutant for the pdf neuropeptide gene, which is expressed by most of the candidate pacemakers (LN(v) neurons). Next, we describe animals in which pdf neurons were selectively ablated. Both sets of animals produced similar behavioral phenotypes. Both sets entrained to light, but both were largely arrhythmic under constant conditions. A minority of each pdf variant exhibited weak to moderate free-running rhythmicity. These results confirm the assignment of LN(v) neurons as the principal circadian pacemakers controlling daily locomotion in Drosophila. They also implicate PDF as the principal circadian transmitter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-802
Number of pages12
JournalCell
Volume99
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 23 1999

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