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1.  Calcium-stores mediate adaptation in axon terminals of Olfactory Receptor Neurons in Drosophila 
BMC Neuroscience  2011;12:105.
In vertebrates and invertebrates, sensory neurons adapt to variable ambient conditions, such as the duration or repetition of a stimulus, a physiological mechanism considered as a simple form of non-associative learning and neuronal plasticity. Although various signaling pathways, as cAMP, cGMP, and the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (InsP3R) play a role in adaptation, their precise mechanisms of action at the cellular level remain incompletely understood. Recently, in Drosophila, we reported that odor-induced Ca2+-response in axon terminals of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) is related to odor duration. In particular, a relatively long odor stimulus (such as 5 s) triggers the induction of a second component involving intracellular Ca2+-stores.
We used a recently developed in-vivo bioluminescence imaging approach to quantify the odor-induced Ca2+-activity in the axon terminals of ORNs. Using either a genetic approach to target specific RNAs, or a pharmacological approach, we show that the second component, relying on the intracellular Ca2+-stores, is responsible for the adaptation to repetitive stimuli. In the antennal lobes (a region analogous to the vertebrate olfactory bulb) ORNs make synaptic contacts with second-order neurons, the projection neurons (PNs). These synapses are modulated by GABA, through either GABAergic local interneurons (LNs) and/or some GABAergic PNs. Application of GABAergic receptor antagonists, both GABAA or GABAB, abolishes the adaptation, while RNAi targeting the GABABR (a metabotropic receptor) within the ORNs, blocks the Ca2+-store dependent component, and consequently disrupts the adaptation. These results indicate that GABA exerts a feedback control. Finally, at the behavioral level, using an olfactory test, genetically impairing the GABABR or its signaling pathway specifically in the ORNs disrupts olfactory adapted behavior.
Taken together, our results indicate that a relatively long lasting form of adaptation occurs within the axon terminals of the ORNs in the antennal lobes, which depends on intracellular Ca2+-stores, attributable to a positive feedback through the GABAergic synapses.
PMCID: PMC3226658  PMID: 22024464
2.  Peripheral, Central and Behavioral Responses to the Cuticular Pheromone Bouquet in Drosophila melanogaster Males 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19770.
Pheromonal communication is crucial with regard to mate choice in many animals including insects. Drosophila melanogaster flies produce a pheromonal bouquet with many cuticular hydrocarbons some of which diverge between the sexes and differently affect male courtship behavior. Cuticular pheromones have a relatively high weight and are thought to be — mostly but not only — detected by gustatory contact. However, the response of the peripheral and central gustatory systems to these substances remains poorly explored. We measured the effect induced by pheromonal cuticular mixtures on (i) the electrophysiological response of peripheral gustatory receptor neurons, (ii) the calcium variation in brain centers receiving these gustatory inputs and (iii) the behavioral reaction induced in control males and in mutant desat1 males, which show abnormal pheromone production and perception. While male and female pheromones induced inhibitory-like effects on taste receptor neurons, the contact of male pheromones on male fore-tarsi elicits a long-lasting response of higher intensity in the dedicated gustatory brain center. We found that the behavior of control males was more strongly inhibited by male pheromones than by female pheromones, but this difference disappeared in anosmic males. Mutant desat1 males showed an increased sensitivity of their peripheral gustatory neurons to contact pheromones and a behavioral incapacity to discriminate sex pheromones. Together our data indicate that cuticular hydrocarbons induce long-lasting inhibitory effects on the relevant taste pathway which may interact with the olfactory pathway to modulate pheromonal perception.
PMCID: PMC3098836  PMID: 21625481
3.  In vivo Bioluminescence Imaging of Ca2+ Signalling in the Brain of Drosophila 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(3):e275.
Many different cells' signalling pathways are universally regulated by Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+] rises that have highly variable amplitudes and kinetic properties. Optical imaging can provide the means to characterise both the temporal and spatial aspects of Ca2+ signals involved in neurophysiological functions. New methods for in vivo imaging of Ca2+ signalling in the brain of Drosophila are required for probing the different dynamic aspects of this system. In studies here, whole brain Ca2+ imaging was performed on transgenic flies with targeted expression of the bioluminescent Ca2+ reporter GFP-aequorin (GA) in different neural structures. A photon counting based technique was used to undertake continuous recordings of cytosolic [Ca2+] over hours. Time integrals for reconstructing images and analysis of the data were selected offline according to the signal intensity. This approach allowed a unique Ca2+ response associated with cholinergic transmission to be identified by whole brain imaging of specific neural structures. Notably, [Ca2+] transients in the Mushroom Bodies (MBs) following nicotine stimulation were accompanied by a delayed secondary [Ca2+] rise (up to 15 min. later) in the MB lobes. The delayed response was sensitive to thapsigargin, suggesting a role for intra-cellular Ca2+ stores. Moreover, it was reduced in dunce mutant flies, which are impaired in learning and memory. Bioluminescence imaging is therefore useful for studying Ca2+ signalling pathways and for functional mapping of neurophysiological processes in the fly brain.
PMCID: PMC1803028  PMID: 17342209
4.  Hmgcr in the Corpus Allatum Controls Sexual Dimorphism of Locomotor Activity and Body Size via the Insulin Pathway in Drosophila 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(1):e187.
The insulin signaling pathway has been implicated in several physiological and developmental processes. In mammals, it controls expression of 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl CoA Reductase (HMGCR), a key enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis. In insects, which can not synthesize cholesterol de novo, the HMGCR is implicated in the biosynthesis of juvenile hormone (JH). However, the link between the insulin pathway and JH has not been established. In Drosophila, mutations in the insulin receptor (InR) decrease the rate of JH synthesis. It is also known that both the insulin pathway and JH play a role in the control of sexual dimorphism in locomotor activity. In studies here, to demonstrate that the insulin pathway and HMGCR are functionally linked in Drosophila, we first show that hmgcr mutation also disrupts the sexual dimorphism. Similarly to the InR, HMGCR is expressed in the corpus allatum (ca), which is the gland where JH biosynthesis occurs. Two p[hmgcr-GAL4] lines were therefore generated where RNAi was targeted specifically against the HMGCR or the InR in the ca. We found that RNAi-HMGCR blocked HMGCR expression, while the RNAi-InR blocked both InR and HMGCR expression. Each RNAi caused disruption of sexual dimorphism and produced dwarf flies at specific rearing temperatures. These results provide evidence: (i) that HMGCR expression is controlled by the InR and (ii) that InR and HMGCR specifically in the ca, are involved in the control of body size and sexual dimorphism of locomotor activity.
PMCID: PMC1779623  PMID: 17264888
5.  La mammillite herpétique bovine au Québec 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  1987;28(8):529-532.
Bovine herpetic mammillitis in Quebec
Bovine herpetic mammillitis is reported for the first time in Canada. It is a vesicular and ulcerative skin disease affecting the udder and teats of cows. It is caused by the bovine herpesvirus 2. The principal lesions consist of crusts that are found on the teats and may become complicated by secundary bacterial infection.Specimens collected from the lesions were used to differentiate the condition from pseudo-cowpox by serological tests, virus isolation and electron microscopy. Bovine herpetic mammillitis causes painful and therefore difficult milking which is followed by mastitis and an increased rate of culling.
PMCID: PMC1680612  PMID: 17422846
Bovine; mammillitis; teat; bovine herpesvirus 2
6.  Acetone and Butanol Production by Clostridium acetobutylicum in a Synthetic Medium 
The effect of the component concentrations of a synthetic medium on acetone and butanol fermentation by Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 was investigated. Cell growth was dependent on the presence of Mg, Fe, and K in the medium. Mg and Mn had deleterious effects when in excess. Ammonium acetate in excess caused acid fermentation. The metabolism was composed of two phases: an acid phase and a solvent one. Low concentrations of glucose allowed the first phase only. The theoretical ratio of the conversion of glucose to solvents, which was 28 to 33%, was obtained with the following medium: MgSO4, 50 to 200 mg/liter; MnSO4, 0 to 20 mg/liter; KCl, 0.015 to 8 g/liter (an equivalent concentration of K+ was supplied in the form of KH2PO4 and K2HPO4); FeSO4, 1 to 50 mg/liter; ammonium acetate, 1.1 to 2.2 g/liter; para-aminobenzoic acid, 1 mg/liter; biotin, 0.01 mg/liter; glucose, 20 to 60 g/liter.
PMCID: PMC242190  PMID: 16346149

Results 1-6 (6)