Shared neurocircuitry underlying feeding and drugs of abuse in Drosophila
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.bj.2016.01.004
The neural circuitry and molecules that control the rewarding properties of food and drugs of abuse appear to partially overlap in the mammalian brain. This has raised questions about the extent of the overlap and the precise role of specific circuit elements in reward and in other behaviors associated with feeding regulation and drug responses. The much simpler brain of invertebrates including the fruit fly Drosophila, offers an opportunity to make high-resolution maps of the circuits and molecules that govern behavior. Recent progress in Drosophila has revealed not only some common substrates for the actions of drugs of abuse and for the regulation of feeding, but also a remarkable level of conservation with vertebrates for key neuromodulatory transmitters. We speculate that Drosophila may serve as a model for distinguishing the neural mechanisms underlying normal and pathological motivational states that will be applicable to mammals.