Sexual deprivation increases ethanol intake in Drosophila

G. Shohat-Ophir, K. R. Kaun, R. Azanchi, U. Heberlein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations

Abstract

The brain's reward systems reinforce behaviors required for species survival, including sex, food consumption, and social interaction. Drugs of abuse co-opt these neural pathways, which can lead to addiction. Here, we used Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the relationship between natural and drug rewards. In males, mating increased, whereas sexual deprivation reduced, neuropeptide F (NPF) levels. Activation or inhibition of the NPF system in turn reduced or enhanced ethanol preference. These results thus link sexual experience, NPF system activity, and ethanol consumption. Artificial activation of NPF neurons was in itself rewarding and precluded the ability of ethanol to act as a reward. We propose that activity of the NPF-NPF receptor axis represents the state of the fly reward system and modifies behavior accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1355
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume335
Issue number6074
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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