Early manipulation of juvenile hormone has sexually dimorphic effects on mature adult behavior in Drosophila melanogaster

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Kathryn J. Argue, Amber J. Yun, Wendi S. Neckameyer
Hormones and Behavior
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Hormones are critical for the development, maturation, and maintenance of physiological systems; therefore, understanding their involvement during maturation of the brain is important for the elucidation of mechanisms by which adults become behaviorally competent. Changes in exogenous and endogenous factors encountered during sexual maturation can have long lasting effects in mature adults. In this study, we investigated the role of the gonadotropic hormone, juvenile hormone (JH), in the modulation of adult behaviors in Drosophila. Here we utilized methoprene (a synthetic JH analog) and precocene (a JH synthesis inhibitor) to manipulate levels of JH in sexually immature male and female Drosophila with or without decreased synthesis of neuronal dopamine (DA). Locomotion and courtship behavior were assayed once the animals had grown to sexual maturity. The results demonstrate a sexually dimorphic role for JH in the modulation of these centrally controlled behaviors in mature animals that is dependent on the age of the animals assayed, and present DA as a candidate neuronal factor that differentially interacts with JH depending on the sex of the animal. The data also suggest that JH modulates these behaviors through an indirect mechanism. Since gonadotropic hormones and DA interact in mammals to affect brain development and later function, our results suggest that this mechanism for the development of adult behavioral competence may be evolutionarily conserved.


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