such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
April 23, 2007 — Serotonin is a major
signaling chemical in the brain, and it has long been thought to be
involved in aggressive behavior in a wide variety of animals as well as
in humans. Another brain chemical signal, neuropeptide Y (known as
neuropeptide F in invertebrates), is also known to affect an array of
behaviors in many species, including territoriality in mice. A new
study by Drs. Herman Dierick and Ralph Greenspan of The Neurosciences
Institute in San Diego shows that these two chemicals also regulate
aggression in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.
In a series of studies that used drug treatments and genetic
engineering we have produced flies that make increased or decreased
amounts of serotonin, or whose nerve cells that use serotonin or
neuropeptide F are silent or inactive. Our investigations showed that
the more serotonin a fly makes, the more aggressive it will be towards
other flies. Conversely, presence of neuropeptide F has an opposite
modulatory effect on the flies' behavior, reducing aggression.
Serotonin and neuropeptide F are part of separate circuits in the
brain, circuits which also differ to some extent between males and
females. Male flies are much more aggressive.
Both of these chemical modulators affect aggression in mammals, and
finding these effects in flies suggests that the molecular and neural
roots for this complex social behavior are of ancient evolutionary
Drs. Dierick and Greenspan are Fellows at The Neurosciences
Institute, an independent, nonprofit, privately supported, scientific
research organization dedicated to studying the workings of the brain
at the most fundamental level. Under the leadership of Nobel Laureate,
Gerald M. Edelman, M.D., Ph.D., the Institute is dedicated to a
research environment that encourages creativity and innovation in a
collaborative atmosphere with true freedom of scientific inquiry, in
the expectation that such an environment provides the best chance for
making vital advances for the benefit of mankind.
Reference: Herman A. Dierick and Ralph J. Greenspan "Serotonin and
neuropeptide F have opposite modulatory effects on fly aggression."
Nature Genetics, May 2007, doi 10.1038/ng2029
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