Contrasting responses within a single neuron class enable sex-specific attraction in Caenorhabditis elegans
Reilly, Douglas K.
Schroeder, Frank C.
Sternberg, Paul W.
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CitationNarayan, Anusha, Vivek Venkatachalam, Omer Durak, Douglas K. Reilly, Neelanjan Bose, Frank C. Schroeder, Aravinthan D. T. Samuel, Jagan Srinivasan, and Paul W. Sternberg. 2016. Contrasting Responses Within a Single Neuron Class Enable Sex-Specific Attraction in Caenorhabditis Elegans. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113, no. 10: E1392–E1401. doi:10.1073/pnas.1600786113.
AbstractAnimals find mates and food, and avoid predators, by navigating to regions within a favorable range of available sensory cues. How are these ranges set and recognized? Here we show that male Caenorhabditis elegans exhibit strong concentration preferences for sex-specific small molecule cues secreted by hermaphrodites, and that these preferences emerge from the collective dynamics of a single male-specific class of neurons, the cephalic sensory neurons (CEMs). Within a single worm, CEM responses are dissimilar, not determined by anatomical classification and can be excitatory or inhibitory. Response kinetics vary by concentration, suggesting a mechanism for establishing preferences. CEM responses are enhanced in the absence of synaptic transmission, and worms with only one intact CEM show nonpreferential attraction to all concentrations of ascaroside for which CEM is the primary sensor, suggesting that synaptic modulation of CEM responses is necessary for establishing preferences. A heterogeneous concentration-dependent sensory representation thus appears to allow a single neural class to set behavioral preferences and recognize ranges of sensory cues.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:29071927
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