Mapping peptidergic cells in Drosophila: Where DIMM fits in

Dongkook Park, Jan A. Veenstra, Jae H. Park, Paul H. Taghert

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133 Scopus citations


The bHLH transcription factor DIMMED has been associated with the differentiation of peptide cells in Drosophila. However, whether all Drosophila peptidergic cells express DIMM, and the extent. to which all DIMM cells are peptidergic, have not been determined. To address these issues, we have mapped DIMM expression in the central nervous system (CNS) and periphery in the late larval, stage Drosophila. At 100 hr after egg-laying, DIMM immunosignals are largely congruent with a dimm-promoter reporter (c929-GAL4) and they present a stereotyped of 306 CNS-cells and 52 peripheral cells. We assigned positional values for all DIMM CNS cells with respect to reference gene expression patterns, or to patterns of Secondary neuroblast lineages. We could assign provisional peptide identities to 68% of DIMM-expressing CNS cells (207/306 and to 73% of DIMM-expressing cells (38/52) using a panel of 24 markers for Drosophila neuropeptide genes. Furthermore, we found that DIMM co-expression was a prevalent feature within single neuropeptide marker expression partterns. Of the 24 CNS neuropeptide gene patterns we studied, six patterns are >90% DIMM-positive, while 16 of 22 patterns are >40% DIMM-positive. Thus most or all DIMM cells in Drosophila appear to be peptidergic, and many but not all peptidergic cells express DIMM. The co-incidence of DIMM-expression among peptidergic cells is best explained by a hypothesis that DIMM promotes a specific neurosecretory phenotype we term LEAP. LEAP denotes large cells that display Episodic release of Amidated Peptides.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1896
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 26 2008


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