Circadian rhythm of temperature preference and its neural control in Drosophila. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • A daily body temperature rhythm (BTR) is critical for the maintenance of homeostasis in mammals. Whereas mammals use internal energy to regulate body temperature, ectotherms typically regulate body temperature behaviorally [1]. Some ectotherms maintain homeostasis via a daily temperature preference rhythm (TPR) [2], but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we show that Drosophila exhibit a daily circadian clock-dependent TPR that resembles mammalian BTR. Pacemaker neurons critical for locomotor activity are not necessary for TPR; instead, the dorsal neuron 2 s (DN2s), whose function was previously unknown, is sufficient. This indicates that TPR, like BTR, is controlled independently from locomotor activity. Therefore, the mechanisms controlling temperature fluctuations in fly TPR and mammalian BTR may share parallel features. Taken together, our results reveal the existence of a novel DN2-based circadian neural circuit that specifically regulates TPR; thus, understanding the mechanisms of TPR will shed new light on the function and neural control of circadian rhythms.

publication date

  • October 9, 2012