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Elucidation of principle of neural circuits using small circuits

開催日 2014/9/12
時間 17:10 - 19:10
会場 Room F(302)
Chairperson(s) 上川内 あづさ / Azusa Kamikouchi (名古屋大学大学院理学研究科 生命理学専攻 / Graduate School of Sciene, Nagoya University, Japan)
森 郁恵 / Ikue Mori (名古屋大学大学院理学研究科 / Graduate School of Sciene, Nagoya University, Japan)

A spatial representation of the pattern of antennal movement in the fruit-fly brain

  • S2-F-3-4
  • 上川内 あづさ / Azusa Kamikouchi:1,2 松尾 絵倫子 / Eriko Matsuo:1 山田 大智 / Daichi Yamada:1 
  • 1:名古屋大学 / Nagoya University, Japan 2:科学技術振興機構さきがけ / PREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan 

How does the brain encode sensory information? To approach its answer, we use a mechanosensory system of the fruit fly as a model system. Fruit flies respond behaviorally to sound, gravity, and wind. Johnston's organ (JO), the antennal ear of the fly, serves as a sensory organ to detect these mechanosensory stimuli. Specific subgroups of sensory neurons in JO, so-called JO neurons subgroups, work as sensors for vibrations and static deflections of the antennal receiver. Five subgroups of JO neurons, subgroups A to E, reportedly project to one of the five AMMC zones, zones A to E, in the brain. Despite intensive analyses on the functional role of these subgroups, the function of subgroup-D JO neurons, which show unique anatomic characteristics when compared with other subgroups of JO neurons, is little understood. Here, we explored the physiologic properties of subgroup-D JO neurons by using GCaMP3-based calcium imaging. In contrast to other subgroups of JO neurons, all of which were reportedly activated either by vibrations (subgroups A and B) or by static deflections (subgroups C and E), subgroup-D JO neurons responded to both stimuli; vibrating at around 100-200 Hz and anterior deflection of the receiver selectively evoked strong calcium response in subgroup-D JO neurons in the brain. This finding clearly revealed that subgroup-D JO neurons could encode the position and movement of the antennal receiver. The five anatomically defined zones as projection targets of JO neurons are now defined as three functionally distinct groups: (1) a primary vibration center (zones A and B), (2) a primary deflection center (zones C and E), and (3) a primary vibration and deflection center (zone D). A fly brain thus could encode information about complex movements of the antennal receiver by expanding its movement into 5-dimensional space in the fly brain.

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