Endocrine modulation of primary chemosensory neurons regulates Drosophila courtship behavior
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1010357
The decision to engage in courtship depends on external cues from potential mates and internal cues related to maturation, health, and experience. Hormones allow for coordinated conveyance of such information to peripheral tissues. Here, we show Ecdysis-Triggering Hormone (ETH) is critical for courtship inhibition after completion of copulation in Drosophila melanogaster. ETH deficiency relieves post-copulation courtship inhibition (PCCI) and increases male-male courtship. ETH appears to modulate perception and attractiveness of potential mates by direct action on primary chemosensory neurons. Knockdown of ETH receptor (ETHR) expression in GR32A-expressing neurons leads to reduced ligand sensitivity and elevated male-male courtship. We find OR67D also is critical for normal levels of PCCI after mating. ETHR knockdown in OR67D-expressing neurons or GR32A-expressing neurons relieves PCCI. Finally, ETHR silencing in the corpus allatum (CA), the sole source of juvenile hormone, also relieves PCCI; treatment with the juvenile hormone analog methoprene partially restores normal post-mating behavior. We find that ETH, a stress-sensitive reproductive hormone, appears to coordinate multiple sensory modalities to guide Drosophila male courtship behaviors, especially after mating.