A neural mechanism for deprivation state-specific expression of relevant memories in Drosophila

Bhagyashree Senapati, Chang Hui Tsao, Yi An Juan, Tai Hsiang Chiu, Chia Lin Wu, Scott Waddell, Suewei Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

48 Scopus citations


Motivational states modulate how animals value sensory stimuli and engage in goal-directed behaviors. The motivational states of thirst and hunger are represented in the brain by shared and unique neuromodulatory systems. However, it is unclear how such systems interact to coordinate the expression of appropriate state-specific behavior. We show that the activity of two brain neurons expressing leucokinin neuropeptide is elevated in thirsty and hungry flies, and that leucokinin release is necessary for state-dependent expression of water- and sugar-seeking memories. Leucokinin inhibits two types of mushroom-body-innervating dopaminergic neurons (DANs) to promote thirst-specific water memory expression, whereas it activates other mushroom-body-innervating DANs to facilitate hunger-dependent sugar memory expression. Selection of hunger- or thirst-appropriate memory emerges from competition between leucokinin and other neuromodulatory hunger signals at the level of the DANs. Therefore, coordinated modulation of the dopaminergic system allows flies to prioritize the expression of the relevant state-dependent motivated behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2029-2039
Number of pages11
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - 01 12 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'A neural mechanism for deprivation state-specific expression of relevant memories in Drosophila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this