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Neuroendocrine modulation sustains the forward motor state


Lim MAMaria A , Chitturi JJyothsna , Laskova VValeriya , Meng JJun , Findeis DDaniel , Wiekenberg AAnne , Mulcahy BBen , Luo LLinjiao , Li YYan , Lu YYangning , Hung WWesley , Qu YYixin , Ho CYChi-Yip , Holmyard DDouglas , Ji NNi , McWhirter RRebecca , Samuel ADAravinthan Dt , Miller DMDavid M , Schnabel RRalf , Calarco JAJohn A , Zhen MMei . eLife. 2016 11 18; 5().


Neuromodulators shape neural circuit dynamics. Combining electron microscopy, genetics, transcriptome profiling, calcium imaging, and optogenetics, we discovered a peptidergic neuron that modulates motor circuit dynamics. The Six/SO-family homeobox transcription factor UNC-39 governs lineage-specific neurogenesis to give rise to a neuron RID. RID bears the anatomic hallmarks of a specialized endocrine neuron: it harbors near-exclusive dense core vesicles that cluster periodically along the axon, and expresses multiple neuropeptides, including the FMRF-amide-related FLP-14. RID activity increases during forward movement. Ablating RID reduces the sustainability of forward movement, a phenotype partially recapitulated by removing FLP-14. Optogenetic depolarization of RID prolongs forward movement, an effect reduced in the absence of FLP-14. Together, these results establish the role of a neuroendocrine cell RID in sustaining a specific behavioral state in .