Novi recepti

Seksualno odbijene muške voćne mušice okreću se alkoholu

Seksualno odbijene muške voćne mušice okreću se alkoholu

Voćne mušice i muškarci, ipak se ne razlikuju toliko?

Budite iskreni, momci, svi ste već bili tamo: Odbačeni predmetom želje vašeg srca, odlučili ste potražiti malu koktelu utjehe. Neočekivani simpatizer vašeg položaja? Mužjak voćne mušice, koji je očigledno privučen pićem kada se suoči sa seksualnim odbacivanjem. Ne zezaj se.

Prema novom istraživanju istraživača iz laboratorije Herberstein na Kalifornijskom univerzitetu u San Francisku, muške voćne mušice koje su odbijene u prosjeku popili četiri puta više od onih koji su se uspješno sparili. U eksperimentu su 24 muške voćne mušice stavljene u jednu od dvije situacije - ili u bočicu sa ženkama voćnih mušica spremnim za parenje ili sa jednom ženkom voćnih mušica koje su već imale. Nakon četiri dana, dobili su priliku birati između obične hrane i hrane natopljene alkoholom.

Vodeći istraživač studije, Galit Shohat-Ophir, objašnjeno Science -u, "Vidite da upareni mužjaci zapravo imaju averziju prema hrani koja sadrži alkohol, a odbačeni mužjaci imaju veliku prednost nad tom hranom s alkoholom."

Općenito govoreći, studija je htjela bolje razumjeti funkcionalnost moždanog puta "nagrade" i "pokušati ući u molekularne mehanizme šta društvenu interakciju čini korisnom za životinje. "

Samo naprijed, prezreni mužjak, popijte gutljaj tog jakog pića - nauka vam govori da je to prirodna, normalna stvar.


Lišene seksa, zgažene muhe piju više alkohola

Seksualno uskraćene muške voćne mušice pokazuju obrazac ponašanja koji izgleda kao da je istrgnut sa stranica tužne priče o Raymondu Carveru: kada ženke voćnih mušica odbace svoje seksualne napretke, mužjaci su dovedeni do prekomjerne konzumacije alkohola, pijući daleko više nego u usporedbi, seksualno zadovoljni mužjaci.

Sada je grupa naučnika sa Kalifornijskog univerziteta u San Franciscu (UCSF) otkrila da mali molekul u mozgu muhe zvan neuropeptid F upravlja ovim ponašanjem - kako se nivoi molekula mijenjaju u njihovom mozgu, mijenja se i ponašanje muha takođe.

Novi rad može pomoći u rasvjetljavanju moždanih mehanizama koji društvenu interakciju čine korisnom za životinje i one koji su u osnovi ljudske ovisnosti. Sličan ljudski molekul, nazvan neuropeptid Y, može na sličan način povezati društvene pokretače s ponašanjem poput prekomjernog pijenja i zloupotrebe droga. Prilagođavanje nivoa neuropeptida Y kod ljudi može promijeniti njihovo ovisničko ponašanje - što je upravo ono što je UCSF tim primijetio kod voćnih mušica.

"Ako se ispostavi da je neuropeptid Y pretvarač između stanja psihe i nagona za zloupotrebom alkohola i droga, mogli bi se razviti terapije za inhibiranje receptora neuropeptida Y", rekla je Ulrike Heberlein, profesorica anatomije i neurologije na UCSF -u , koji je vodio istraživanje.

U tijeku su klinička ispitivanja, dodala je, kako bi se provjerilo može li isporuka neuropeptida Y ublažiti anksioznost i druge poremećaje raspoloženja, kao i pretilost.

Prekidač nagrade u mozgu

Eksperimenti, opisani ove sedmice u časopisu Nauka, započeo sa muškim voćnim mušicama smještenim u kontejner sa djevičanskim ženkama mušica ili ženkama koje su se već parile. Dok se djevičanske ženke lako pare i prijemčive su za udvaranje mužjacima, nakon što se pare, ženke mušica na neko vrijeme gube interes za spol zbog utjecaja tvari poznate kao spolni peptid, koju mužjaci ubrizgavaju zajedno sa spermom na vrhuncu susret. Zbog toga odbijaju napredovanje mužjaka mušica.

Odbijeni mužjaci tada su potpuno odustali od pokušaja parenja. Čak i kad su ih stavili u isti kavez s djevičanskim muhama, nisu imali želju za seksom. Promijenilo se i njihovo piće.

Kad su ih sami stavili u novi spremnik i dali im dvije slamke, jedna s običnom hranom, a druga s hranom dopunjenom s 15 posto alkohola, spolno odbačene muhe pile su alkohol, pijući daleko više od svojih spolno zadovoljnih rođaka čiji napredak nikada nije bio napredak odbijen. Razlika nije bila vidljiva samo u njihovom ponašanju. Potpuno su to predvidjeli nivoi neuropeptida F u njihovom mozgu.

"To je prekidač koji predstavlja nivo nagrade u mozgu i prevodi ga u ponašanje koje traži nagradu", rekla je dr Galit Shohat-Ophir, prva autorka nove studije.

Bivši postdoktorski istraživač na UCSF-u, Shohat-Ophir sada je stručnjak za istraživanje na Medicinskom institutu Howard Hughes (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center u Ashburnu, VA. Kasnije ove godine, Heberlein će se također preseliti na farmu Janelia, gdje će postati direktorica naučnog programa.

Eksperimenti su počeli kao "luda" ideja

Kad je posao počeo tek prije nekoliko godina, rekla je Shohat-Ophir, to je bila samo luda ideja. Tim UCSF -a sumnjao je da bi u mozgu mogao postojati molekularni mehanizam koji povezuje društvena iskustva poput seksualnog odbijanja s psihološkim stanjima poput depresije moždanog sistema koja reagira na nagrade. Stoga su odlučili provjeriti hoće li muhe koje su spolno odbijene biti sklonije piću.

Mušice u laboratoriji obično će piti do opijenosti ako im se da izbor, ali ovo ponašanje se mijenja kada se u mozgu promijene nivoi neuropeptida F zbog njihovih seksualnih iskustava. Manje je vjerovatno da će parne muhe tražiti takva korisna iskustva.

Mužjaci mušica koji su od početka bili upareni sa prijemčivim djevičanskim ženkama i uspješno pareni imali su puno neuropeptida F u mozgu i pili su vrlo malo alkohola.

Odbijene muhe, s druge strane, imale su niži nivo neuropeptida F u mozgu i tražile su alternativnu nagradu pijući do intoksikacije.

U svom radu, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir i njihove kolege pokazali su da mogu izazvati isto ponašanje genetskom manipulacijom nivoa neuropeptida F u mozgu muha. Aktiviranje proizvodnje neuropeptida F u mozgu djevičanskih mužjaka muha natjeralo ih je da se ponašaju kao da su seksualno zadovoljni, te su dobrovoljno ograničili piće.

Snižavanje nivoa receptora neuropeptida F navelo je muhe koje su bile potpuno seksualno zadovoljne da se ponašaju kao da su odbijene, potičući ih da piju više.

Ovo otkriće ima veliku važnost za rješavanje ovisnosti o ljudima, iako će trebati godine da se ovo otkriće pretoči u bilo koju novu terapiju ovisnika, s obzirom na mnogo veće složenosti ljudskog uma.

Ljudska verzija neuropeptida F, nazvana neuropeptid Y, može djelovati na sličan način, povezujući društveno korisna iskustva s ponašanjima poput prepijanja. Naučnici već znaju da je nivo neuropeptida Y smanjen kod ljudi koji pate od depresije i posttraumatskog stresnog poremećaja-stanja za koja je takođe poznato da predisponiraju ljude na prekomjernu zloupotrebu alkohola i droga.

Manipulacija neuropeptidom Y možda i nije tako jednostavna, budući da se molekula distribuira po cijelom ljudskom mozgu - i na osnovu studija glodara, ima ulogu u hranjenju, tjeskobi i snu, uz konzumaciju alkohola.

Ovaj rad je finansiran od strane Sandlerove istraživačke stipendije, Programa za probojna biomedicinska istraživanja na Kalifornijskom univerzitetu u San Francisku i Nacionalnog instituta za zloupotrebu alkohola i alkoholizam, jednog od Nacionalnih zdravstvenih instituta.


Lišene seksa, zgažene muhe piju više alkohola

Seksualno lišene muške voćne mušice pokazuju obrazac ponašanja koji izgleda kao da je istrgnut sa stranica tužne priče o Raymondu Carveru: kada ženke voćnih mušica odbace svoje seksualne napretke, mužjaci su dovedeni do pretjerane konzumacije alkohola, pijući daleko više nego u usporedbi, seksualno zadovoljni mužjaci.

Sada je grupa naučnika sa Kalifornijskog univerziteta u San Franciscu (UCSF) otkrila da mali molekul u mozgu muhe zvan neuropeptid F upravlja ovim ponašanjem - kako se nivoi molekula mijenjaju u njihovom mozgu, mijenja se i ponašanje muha takođe.

Novi rad može pomoći u rasvjetljavanju moždanih mehanizama koji društvenu interakciju čine korisnom za životinje i one koji su u osnovi ljudske ovisnosti. Sličan ljudski molekul, nazvan neuropeptid Y, može na sličan način povezati društvene pokretače s ponašanjem poput prekomjernog pijenja i zloupotrebe droga. Prilagođavanje nivoa neuropeptida Y kod ljudi može promijeniti njihovo ovisničko ponašanje - što je upravo ono što je UCSF tim primijetio kod voćnih mušica.

"Ako se ispostavi da je neuropeptid Y pretvarač između stanja psihe i nagona za zloupotrebom alkohola i droga, mogli bi se razviti terapije za inhibiranje receptora neuropeptida Y", rekla je Ulrike Heberlein, profesorica anatomije i neurologije na UCSF -u , koji je vodio istraživanje.

U tijeku su klinička ispitivanja, dodala je, kako bi se provjerilo može li isporuka neuropeptida Y ublažiti anksioznost i druge poremećaje raspoloženja, kao i pretilost.

Prekidač nagrade u mozgu

Eksperimenti, opisani ove sedmice u časopisu Nauka, započeo sa muškim voćnim mušicama smještenim u kontejner sa djevičanskim ženkama mušica ili ženkama koje su se već parile. Dok se djevičanske ženke lako pare i prijemčive su za udvaranje mužjacima, nakon što se pare, ženke mušica na neko vrijeme gube interes za spol zbog utjecaja tvari poznate kao spolni peptid, koju mužjaci ubrizgavaju zajedno sa spermom na vrhuncu susret. Zbog toga odbijaju napredak mužjaka muha.

Odbijeni mužjaci tada su potpuno odustali od pokušaja parenja. Čak i kad su ih stavili u isti kavez s djevičanskim muhama, nisu imali želju za seksom. Promijenilo se i njihovo piće.

Kad su ih sami stavili u novi spremnik i dali im dvije slamke, jedna s običnom hranom, a druga s hranom dopunjenom s 15 posto alkohola, spolno odbačene muhe pile su alkohol, pijući daleko više od svojih spolno zadovoljnih rođaka čiji napredak nikada nije bio napredak odbijen. Razlika nije bila vidljiva samo u njihovom ponašanju. Potpuno su to predvidjeli nivoi neuropeptida F u njihovom mozgu.

"To je prekidač koji predstavlja nivo nagrade u mozgu i prevodi ga u ponašanje koje traži nagradu", rekla je dr Galit Shohat-Ophir, prva autorka nove studije.

Bivši postdoktorski istraživač na UCSF-u, Shohat-Ophir sada je stručnjak za istraživanje na Medicinskom institutu Howard Hughes (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center u Ashburnu, VA. Kasnije ove godine, Heberlein će se također preseliti na farmu Janelia, gdje će postati direktorica naučnog programa.

Eksperimenti su počeli kao "luda" ideja

Kad je posao počeo tek prije nekoliko godina, rekla je Shohat-Ophir, to je bila samo luda ideja. Tim UCSF -a sumnjao je da bi u mozgu mogao postojati molekularni mehanizam koji povezuje društvena iskustva poput seksualnog odbijanja s psihološkim stanjima poput depresije moždanog sistema koja reagira na nagrade. Stoga su odlučili provjeriti hoće li muhe koje su spolno odbijene biti sklonije piću.

Mušice u laboratoriji obično će piti do opijenosti ako im se da izbor, ali ovo ponašanje se mijenja kada se u mozgu promijene nivoi neuropeptida F zbog njihovih seksualnih iskustava. Manje je vjerovatno da će parne muhe tražiti takva korisna iskustva.

Mužjaci mušica koji su od početka bili upareni sa prijemčivim djevičanskim ženkama i uspješno pareni imali su puno neuropeptida F u mozgu i pili su vrlo malo alkohola.

Odbijene muhe, s druge strane, imale su niži nivo neuropeptida F u mozgu i tražile su alternativnu nagradu pijući do intoksikacije.

U svom radu, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir i njihove kolege pokazali su da mogu izazvati isto ponašanje genetskom manipulacijom nivoa neuropeptida F u mozgu muha. Aktiviranje proizvodnje neuropeptida F u mozgu djevičanskih mužjaka muha natjeralo ih je da se ponašaju kao da su seksualno zadovoljni, te su dobrovoljno ograničili piće.

Snižavanje nivoa receptora neuropeptida F navelo je muhe koje su bile potpuno seksualno zadovoljne da se ponašaju kao da su odbijene, potičući ih da piju više.

Ovo otkriće ima veliku važnost za rješavanje ovisnosti o ljudima, iako će trebati godine da se ovo otkriće pretoči u bilo koju novu terapiju ovisnika, s obzirom na mnogo veće složenosti ljudskog uma.

Ljudska verzija neuropeptida F, nazvana neuropeptid Y, može djelovati na sličan način, povezujući društveno korisna iskustva s ponašanjima poput prepijanja. Naučnici već znaju da je nivo neuropeptida Y smanjen kod ljudi koji pate od depresije i posttraumatskog stresnog poremećaja-stanja za koja je takođe poznato da predisponiraju ljude na prekomjernu zloupotrebu alkohola i droga.

Manipulacija neuropeptidom Y možda i nije tako jednostavna, budući da se molekula distribuira po cijelom ljudskom mozgu - i na osnovu studija glodara, ima ulogu u hranjenju, tjeskobi i snu, uz konzumaciju alkohola.

Ovaj rad je finansiran od strane Sandler Research Fellowship, Programa za revolucionarna biomedicinska istraživanja na Kalifornijskom univerzitetu u San Franciscu i Nacionalnog instituta za zloupotrebu alkohola i alkoholizam, jednog od Nacionalnih zdravstvenih instituta.


Lišene seksa, zgažene muhe piju više alkohola

Seksualno lišene muške voćne mušice pokazuju obrazac ponašanja koji izgleda kao da je istrgnut sa stranica tužne priče o Raymondu Carveru: kada ženke voćnih mušica odbace svoje seksualne napretke, mužjaci su dovedeni do pretjerane konzumacije alkohola, pijući daleko više nego u usporedbi, seksualno zadovoljni mužjaci.

Sada je grupa naučnika sa Kalifornijskog univerziteta u San Franciscu (UCSF) otkrila da mali molekul u mozgu muhe zvan neuropeptid F upravlja ovim ponašanjem - kako se nivoi molekula mijenjaju u njihovom mozgu, mijenja se i ponašanje muha takođe.

Novi rad može pomoći u rasvjetljavanju moždanih mehanizama koji društvenu interakciju čine korisnom za životinje i one koji su u osnovi ljudske ovisnosti. Sličan ljudski molekul, nazvan neuropeptid Y, može na sličan način povezati društvene pokretače s ponašanjem poput prekomjernog pijenja i zloupotrebe droga. Prilagođavanje nivoa neuropeptida Y kod ljudi može promijeniti njihovo ovisničko ponašanje - što je upravo ono što je UCSF tim primijetio kod voćnih mušica.

"Ako se ispostavi da je neuropeptid Y pretvarač između stanja psihe i želje za zloupotrebom alkohola i droga, mogli bi se razviti terapije za inhibiranje receptora neuropeptida Y", rekla je Ulrike Heberlein, profesorica anatomije i neurologije na UCSF -u , koji je vodio istraživanje.

U tijeku su klinička ispitivanja, dodala je, kako bi se provjerilo može li isporuka neuropeptida Y ublažiti anksioznost i druge poremećaje raspoloženja, kao i pretilost.

Prekidač nagrade u mozgu

Eksperimenti, opisani ove sedmice u časopisu Nauka, započeo sa muškim voćnim mušicama smještenim u kontejner sa djevičanskim ženkama mušica ili ženkama koje su se već parile. Dok se djevičanske ženke lako pare i prijemčive su za udvaranje mužjacima, nakon što se pare, ženke mušica na neko vrijeme gube interes za spol zbog utjecaja tvari poznate kao spolni peptid, koju mužjaci ubrizgavaju zajedno sa spermom na vrhuncu susret. Zbog toga odbijaju napredak mužjaka muha.

Odbijeni mužjaci tada su potpuno odustali od pokušaja parenja. Čak i kad su ih stavili u isti kavez s djevičanskim muhama, nisu imali želju za seksom. Promijenilo se i njihovo piće.

Kad su ih sami stavili u novi spremnik i dali im dvije slamke, jedna s običnom hranom, a druga s hranom dopunjenom s 15 posto alkohola, spolno odbačene muhe pile su alkohol, pijući daleko više od svojih spolno zadovoljnih rođaka čiji napredak nikada nije bio napredak odbijen. Razlika nije bila vidljiva samo u njihovom ponašanju. Potpuno su to predvidjeli nivoi neuropeptida F u njihovom mozgu.

"To je prekidač koji predstavlja nivo nagrade u mozgu i prevodi ga u ponašanje koje traži nagradu", rekla je dr Galit Shohat-Ophir, prva autorka nove studije.

Bivši postdoktorski istraživač na UCSF-u, Shohat-Ophir sada je stručnjak za istraživanje na Medicinskom institutu Howard Hughes (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center u Ashburnu, VA. Kasnije ove godine, Heberlein će se također preseliti na farmu Janelia, gdje će postati direktorica naučnog programa.

Eksperimenti su počeli kao "luda" ideja

Kad je posao počeo tek prije nekoliko godina, rekla je Shohat-Ophir, to je bila samo luda ideja. Tim UCSF -a sumnjao je da bi u mozgu mogao postojati molekularni mehanizam koji povezuje društvena iskustva poput seksualnog odbijanja s psihološkim stanjima poput depresije moždanog sistema koja reagira na nagrade. Stoga su odlučili provjeriti hoće li muhe koje su spolno odbijene biti sklonije piću.

Mušice u laboratoriji obično će piti do opijenosti ako im se da izbor, ali ovo ponašanje se mijenja kada se u mozgu promijene nivoi neuropeptida F zbog njihovih seksualnih iskustava. Manje je vjerovatno da će parne muhe tražiti takva korisna iskustva.

Mužjaci mušica koji su od početka bili upareni sa prijemčivim djevičanskim ženkama i uspješno pareni imali su puno neuropeptida F u mozgu i pili su vrlo malo alkohola.

Odbijene muhe, s druge strane, imale su niži nivo neuropeptida F u mozgu i tražile su alternativnu nagradu pijući do intoksikacije.

U svom radu, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir i njihove kolege pokazali su da mogu izazvati isto ponašanje genetskom manipulacijom nivoa neuropeptida F u mozgu muha. Aktiviranje proizvodnje neuropeptida F u mozgu djevičanskih mužjaka muha natjeralo ih je da se ponašaju kao da su seksualno zadovoljni, te su dobrovoljno ograničili piće.

Snižavanje nivoa receptora neuropeptida F navelo je muhe koje su bile potpuno seksualno zadovoljne da se ponašaju kao da su odbačene, potičući ih da piju više.

Ovo otkriće ima veliku važnost za rješavanje ovisnosti o ljudima, iako će trebati godine da se ovo otkriće pretoči u bilo koju novu terapiju ovisnika, s obzirom na mnogo veće složenosti ljudskog uma.

Ljudska verzija neuropeptida F, nazvana neuropeptid Y, može djelovati na sličan način, povezujući društveno korisna iskustva s ponašanjima poput prepijanja. Naučnici već znaju da je nivo neuropeptida Y smanjen kod ljudi koji pate od depresije i posttraumatskog stresnog poremećaja-stanja za koja je takođe poznato da predisponiraju ljude na prekomjernu zloupotrebu alkohola i droga.

Manipulacija neuropeptidom Y možda i nije tako jednostavna, budući da se molekula distribuira po cijelom ljudskom mozgu - i na osnovu studija glodara, ima ulogu u hranjenju, tjeskobi i snu, uz konzumaciju alkohola.

Ovaj rad je finansiran od strane Sandlerove istraživačke stipendije, Programa za probojna biomedicinska istraživanja na Kalifornijskom univerzitetu u San Francisku i Nacionalnog instituta za zloupotrebu alkohola i alkoholizam, jednog od Nacionalnih zdravstvenih instituta.


Lišene seksa, zgažene muhe piju više alkohola

Seksualno uskraćene muške voćne mušice pokazuju obrazac ponašanja koji izgleda kao da je istrgnut sa stranica tužne priče o Raymondu Carveru: kada ženke voćnih mušica odbace svoje seksualne napretke, mužjaci su dovedeni do prekomjerne konzumacije alkohola, pijući daleko više nego u usporedbi, seksualno zadovoljni mužjaci.

Sada je grupa naučnika sa Kalifornijskog univerziteta u San Franciscu (UCSF) otkrila da mali molekul u mozgu muhe zvan neuropeptid F upravlja ovim ponašanjem - kako se nivoi molekula mijenjaju u njihovom mozgu, mijenja se i ponašanje muha takođe.

Novi rad može pomoći u rasvjetljavanju moždanih mehanizama koji društvenu interakciju čine korisnom za životinje i one koji su u osnovi ljudske ovisnosti. Sličan ljudski molekul, nazvan neuropeptid Y, može na sličan način povezati društvene pokretače s ponašanjem poput prekomjernog pijenja i zloupotrebe droga. Prilagođavanje nivoa neuropeptida Y kod ljudi može promijeniti njihovo ovisničko ponašanje - što je upravo ono što je UCSF tim primijetio kod voćnih mušica.

"Ako se ispostavi da je neuropeptid Y pretvarač između stanja psihe i nagona za zloupotrebom alkohola i droga, mogli bi se razviti terapije za inhibiranje receptora neuropeptida Y", rekla je Ulrike Heberlein, profesorica anatomije i neurologije na UCSF -u , koji je vodio istraživanje.

U tijeku su klinička ispitivanja, dodala je, kako bi se provjerilo može li isporuka neuropeptida Y ublažiti anksioznost i druge poremećaje raspoloženja, kao i pretilost.

Prekidač nagrade u mozgu

Eksperimenti, opisani ove sedmice u časopisu Nauka, započeo sa muškim voćnim mušicama smještenim u kontejner sa djevičanskim ženkama mušica ili ženkama koje su se već parile. Dok se djevičanske ženke lako pare i prijemčive su za udvaranje mužjacima, nakon što se pare, ženke mušica na neko vrijeme gube interes za spol zbog utjecaja tvari poznate kao spolni peptid, koju mužjaci ubrizgavaju zajedno sa spermom na vrhuncu susret. Zbog toga odbijaju napredovanje mužjaka mušica.

Odbijeni mužjaci tada su potpuno odustali od pokušaja parenja. Čak i kad su ih stavili u isti kavez s djevičanskim muhama, nisu imali želju za seksom. Promijenilo se i njihovo piće.

Kad su ih sami stavili u novi spremnik i dali im dvije slamke, jedna s običnom hranom, a druga s hranom dopunjenom s 15 posto alkohola, spolno odbačene muhe pile su alkohol, pijući daleko više od svojih spolno zadovoljnih rođaka čiji napredak nikada nije bio napredak odbijen. Razlika nije bila vidljiva samo u njihovom ponašanju. Potpuno su to predvidjeli nivoi neuropeptida F u njihovom mozgu.

"To je prekidač koji predstavlja nivo nagrade u mozgu i prevodi ga u ponašanje koje traži nagradu", rekla je dr Galit Shohat-Ophir, prva autorka nove studije.

Bivši postdoktorski istraživač na UCSF-u, Shohat-Ophir sada je stručnjak za istraživanje na Medicinskom institutu Howard Hughes (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center u Ashburnu, VA. Kasnije ove godine, Heberlein će se također preseliti na farmu Janelia, gdje će postati direktorica naučnog programa.

Eksperimenti su počeli kao "luda" ideja

Kad je posao počeo tek prije nekoliko godina, rekla je Shohat-Ophir, to je bila samo luda ideja. Tim UCSF -a sumnjao je da bi u mozgu mogao postojati molekularni mehanizam koji povezuje društvena iskustva poput seksualnog odbijanja s psihološkim stanjima poput depresije moždanog sistema koja reagira na nagrade. Stoga su odlučili provjeriti hoće li muhe koje su spolno odbijene biti sklonije piću.

Mušice u laboratoriji obično će piti do opijenosti ako im se da izbor, ali ovo ponašanje se mijenja kada se u mozgu promijene nivoi neuropeptida F zbog njihovih seksualnih iskustava. Manje je vjerovatno da će parne muhe tražiti takva korisna iskustva.

Mužjaci mušica koji su od početka bili upareni sa prijemčivim djevičanskim ženkama i uspješno pareni imali su puno neuropeptida F u mozgu i pili su vrlo malo alkohola.

Odbijene muhe, s druge strane, imale su niži nivo neuropeptida F u mozgu i tražile su alternativnu nagradu pijući do intoksikacije.

U svom radu, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir i njihove kolege pokazali su da mogu izazvati isto ponašanje genetskom manipulacijom nivoa neuropeptida F u mozgu muha. Aktiviranje proizvodnje neuropeptida F u mozgu djevičanskih mužjaka muha natjeralo ih je da se ponašaju kao da su seksualno zadovoljni, te su dobrovoljno ograničili piće.

Snižavanje nivoa receptora neuropeptida F navelo je muhe koje su bile potpuno seksualno zadovoljne da se ponašaju kao da su odbijene, potičući ih da piju više.

Ovo otkriće ima veliku važnost za rješavanje ovisnosti o ljudima, iako će trebati godine da se ovo otkriće pretoči u bilo koju novu terapiju ovisnika, s obzirom na mnogo veće složenosti ljudskog uma.

Ljudska verzija neuropeptida F, nazvana neuropeptid Y, može djelovati na sličan način, povezujući društveno korisna iskustva s ponašanjima poput prepijanja. Naučnici već znaju da je nivo neuropeptida Y smanjen kod ljudi koji pate od depresije i posttraumatskog stresnog poremećaja-stanja za koja je takođe poznato da predisponiraju ljude na prekomjernu zloupotrebu alkohola i droga.

Manipulacija neuropeptidom Y možda i nije tako jednostavna, budući da se molekula distribuira po cijelom ljudskom mozgu - i na osnovu studija glodara, ima ulogu u hranjenju, tjeskobi i snu, uz konzumaciju alkohola.

Ovaj rad je finansiran od strane Sandlerove istraživačke stipendije, Programa za probojna biomedicinska istraživanja na Kalifornijskom univerzitetu u San Francisku i Nacionalnog instituta za zloupotrebu alkohola i alkoholizam, jednog od Nacionalnih zdravstvenih instituta.


Lišene seksa, zgažene muhe piju više alkohola

Seksualno uskraćene muške voćne mušice pokazuju obrazac ponašanja koji izgleda kao da je istrgnut sa stranica tužne priče o Raymondu Carveru: kada ženke voćnih mušica odbace svoje seksualne napretke, mužjaci su dovedeni do prekomjerne konzumacije alkohola, pijući daleko više nego u usporedbi, seksualno zadovoljni mužjaci.

Sada je grupa naučnika sa Kalifornijskog univerziteta u San Franciscu (UCSF) otkrila da mali molekul u mozgu muhe zvan neuropeptid F upravlja ovim ponašanjem - kako se nivoi molekula mijenjaju u njihovom mozgu, mijenja se i ponašanje muha takođe.

Novi rad može pomoći u rasvjetljavanju moždanih mehanizama koji društvenu interakciju čine korisnom za životinje i one koji su u osnovi ljudske ovisnosti. Sličan ljudski molekul, nazvan neuropeptid Y, može na sličan način povezati društvene pokretače s ponašanjem poput prekomjernog pijenja i zloupotrebe droga. Prilagođavanje nivoa neuropeptida Y kod ljudi može promijeniti njihovo ovisničko ponašanje - što je upravo ono što je UCSF tim primijetio kod voćnih mušica.

"Ako se ispostavi da je neuropeptid Y pretvarač između stanja psihe i želje za zloupotrebom alkohola i droga, mogli bi se razviti terapije za inhibiranje receptora neuropeptida Y", rekla je Ulrike Heberlein, profesorica anatomije i neurologije na UCSF -u , koji je vodio istraživanje.

U tijeku su klinička ispitivanja, dodala je, kako bi se provjerilo može li isporuka neuropeptida Y ublažiti anksioznost i druge poremećaje raspoloženja, kao i pretilost.

Prekidač nagrade u mozgu

Eksperimenti, opisani ove sedmice u časopisu Nauka, započeo sa muškim voćnim mušicama smještenim u kontejner sa djevičanskim ženkama mušica ili ženkama koje su se već parile. Dok se djevičanske ženke lako pare i prijemčive su za udvaranje mužjacima, nakon što se pare, ženke mušica na neko vrijeme gube interes za spol zbog utjecaja tvari poznate kao spolni peptid, koju mužjaci ubrizgavaju zajedno sa spermom na vrhuncu susret. Zbog toga odbijaju napredovanje mužjaka mušica.

Odbijeni mužjaci tada su potpuno odustali od pokušaja parenja. Čak i kad su ih stavili u isti kavez s djevičanskim muhama, nisu imali želju za seksom. Promijenilo se i njihovo piće.

Kad su ih sami stavili u novi spremnik i dali im dvije slamke, jedna s običnom hranom, a druga s hranom dopunjenom s 15 posto alkohola, spolno odbačene muhe pile su alkohol, pijući daleko više od svojih spolno zadovoljnih rođaka čiji napredak nikada nije bio napredak odbijen. Razlika nije bila vidljiva samo u njihovom ponašanju. Potpuno su to predvidjeli nivoi neuropeptida F u njihovom mozgu.

"To je prekidač koji predstavlja nivo nagrade u mozgu i prevodi ga u ponašanje koje traži nagradu", rekla je dr Galit Shohat-Ophir, prva autorka nove studije.

Bivši postdoktorski istraživač na UCSF-u, Shohat-Ophir sada je stručnjak za istraživanje na Medicinskom institutu Howard Hughes (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center u Ashburnu, VA. Kasnije ove godine, Heberlein će se također preseliti na farmu Janelia, gdje će postati direktorica naučnog programa.

Eksperimenti su počeli kao "luda" ideja

Kad je posao počeo tek prije nekoliko godina, rekla je Shohat-Ophir, to je bila samo luda ideja. Tim UCSF -a sumnjao je da bi u mozgu mogao postojati molekularni mehanizam koji povezuje društvena iskustva poput seksualnog odbacivanja s psihološkim stanjima poput depresije moždanog sistema koja reagira na nagrade. Stoga su odlučili provjeriti hoće li muhe koje su spolno odbijene biti sklonije piću.

Mušice u laboratoriji obično će piti do opijenosti ako im se da izbor, ali ovo ponašanje se mijenja kada se u mozgu promijene nivoi neuropeptida F zbog njihovih seksualnih iskustava. Manje je vjerovatno da će parne muhe tražiti takva korisna iskustva.

Mužjaci mušica koji su od početka bili upareni sa prijemčivim djevičanskim ženkama i uspješno pareni imali su puno neuropeptida F u mozgu i pili su vrlo malo alkohola.

Odbijene muhe, s druge strane, imale su niži nivo neuropeptida F u mozgu i tražile su alternativnu nagradu pijući do intoksikacije.

U svom radu, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir i njihove kolege pokazali su da mogu izazvati isto ponašanje genetskom manipulacijom nivoa neuropeptida F u mozgu muha. Aktiviranjem proizvodnje neuropeptida F u mozgu djevičanskih mužjaka muhe su se natjerale da se ponašaju kao da su seksualno zadovoljne, te su dobrovoljno ograničile piće.

Snižavanje nivoa receptora neuropeptida F navelo je muhe koje su bile potpuno seksualno zadovoljne da se ponašaju kao da su odbijene, potičući ih da piju više.

Ovo otkriće ima veliku važnost za rješavanje ovisnosti o ljudima, iako će trebati godine da se ovo otkriće pretoči u bilo koju novu terapiju ovisnika, s obzirom na mnogo veće složenosti ljudskog uma.

Ljudska verzija neuropeptida F, nazvana neuropeptid Y, može djelovati na sličan način, povezujući društveno korisna iskustva s ponašanjima poput prepijanja. Naučnici već znaju da je nivo neuropeptida Y smanjen kod ljudi koji pate od depresije i posttraumatskog stresnog poremećaja-stanja za koja je takođe poznato da predisponiraju ljude na prekomjernu zloupotrebu alkohola i droga.

Manipulacija neuropeptidom Y možda i nije tako jednostavna, budući da se molekula distribuira po cijelom ljudskom mozgu - a na osnovu studija glodara, pored konzumiranja alkohola, ima ulogu i u hranjenju, tjeskobi i snu.

Ovaj rad je finansiran od strane Sandlerove istraživačke stipendije, Programa za probojna biomedicinska istraživanja na Kalifornijskom univerzitetu u San Francisku i Nacionalnog instituta za zloupotrebu alkohola i alkoholizam, jednog od Nacionalnih zdravstvenih instituta.


Lišene seksa, zgažene muhe piju više alkohola

Sexually deprived male fruit flies exhibit a pattern of behavior that seems ripped from the pages of a sad-sack Raymond Carver story: when female fruit flies reject their sexual advances, the males are driven to excessive alcohol consumption, drinking far more than comparable, sexually satisfied male flies.

Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly's brain called neuropeptide F governs this behavior -- as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies' behavior changes as well.

The new work may help shed light on the brain mechanisms that make social interaction rewarding for animals and those that underlie human addiction. A similar human molecule, called neuropeptide Y, may likewise connect social triggers to behaviors like excessive drinking and drug abuse. Adjusting the levels of neuropeptide Y in people may alter their addictive behavior -- which is exactly what the UCSF team observed in the fruit flies.

"If neuropeptide Y turns out to be the transducer between the state of the psyche and the drive to abuse alcohol and drugs, one could develop therapies to inhibit neuropeptide Y receptors," said Ulrike Heberlein, PhD, a Professor of Anatomy and Neurology at UCSF, who led the research.

Clinical trials are underway, she added, to test whether delivery of neuropeptide Y can alleviate anxiety and other mood disorders as well as obesity.

A Reward Switch in the Brain

The experiments, described this week in the journal Nauka, started with male fruit flies placed in a container with either virgin female flies or female flies that had already mated. While virgin females readily mate and are receptive toward courting males, once they have mated, females flies lose their interest in sex for a time because of the influence of a substance known as sex peptide, which males inject along with sperm at the culmination of the encounter. This causes them to reject the advances of the male flies.

The rejected males then gave up trying to mate altogether. Even when placed in the same cage as virgin flies, they were not as keen to have sex. Their drinking behavior also changed.

When placed by themselves in a new container and presented with two straws, one containing plain food and the other containing food supplemented with 15 percent alcohol, the sexually rejected flies binged on the alcohol, drinking far more than their sexually satisfied cousins whose advances were never spurned. The difference was not only apparent in their behavior. It was completely predicted by the levels of neuropeptide F in their brains.

"It's a switch that represents the level of reward in the brain and translates it into reward-seeking behavior," said Galit Shohat-Ophir, PhD, the first author of the new study.

A former postdoctoral researcher at UCSF, Shohat-Ophir is now a research specialist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center in Ashburn, VA. Later this year, Heberlein will also move to Janelia Farm, where she will become scientific program director.

Experiments Began as a "Crazy" Idea

When the work first started a few years ago, Shohat-Ophir said, it was just a crazy idea. The UCSF team suspected there might be a molecular mechanism in the brain linking social experiences like sexual rejection to psychological states such as depression of the brain system that responds to rewards. So they decided to test whether flies that were rejected sexually would be more prone to drinking.

Flies in the laboratory will normally drink to intoxication if given the choice, but this behavior is altered when neuropeptide F levels are altered in their brains because of their sexual experiences. Mated flies are less likely to seek out such rewarding experiences.

The male flies that were paired with receptive virgin females from the start and successfully mated had lots of neuropeptide F in their brains and drank very little alcohol.

Rejected flies, on the other hand, had lower levels of neuropeptide F in their brains, and sought alternative rewards by drinking to intoxication.

In their work, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir, and their colleagues showed that they could induce the same behaviors by genetically manipulating the neuropeptide F levels in the flies' brains. Activating the production of neuropeptide F in the brains of virgin males flies made them act as if they were sexually satisfied, and they voluntarily curtailed their drinking.

Lowering the levels of the neuropeptide F receptor made flies that were completely sexually satisfied act as if they were rejected, inciting them to drink more.

The finding has great relevance to addressing human addiction, though it may take years to translate this discovery into any new therapies for addicts, given the much greater complexities of the human mind.

The human version of neuropeptide F, called neuropeptide Y, may work similarly, connecting socially rewarding experiences to behaviors like binge drinking. Already, scientists know that levels of neuropeptide Y are reduced in people who suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder -- conditions that are also known to predispose people toward excessive alcohol and drug abuse.

Manipulating neuropeptide Y may not be so straightforward, however, since the molecule is distributed all over the human brain -- and based on rodent studies, it has roles in feeding, anxiety and sleep, in addition to alcohol consumption.

This work was funded by a Sandler Research Fellowship, the Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research at the University of California, San Francisco and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the National Institutes of Health.


Deprived of sex, jilted flies drink more alcohol

Sexually deprived male fruit flies exhibit a pattern of behavior that seems ripped from the pages of a sad-sack Raymond Carver story: when female fruit flies reject their sexual advances, the males are driven to excessive alcohol consumption, drinking far more than comparable, sexually satisfied male flies.

Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly's brain called neuropeptide F governs this behavior -- as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies' behavior changes as well.

The new work may help shed light on the brain mechanisms that make social interaction rewarding for animals and those that underlie human addiction. A similar human molecule, called neuropeptide Y, may likewise connect social triggers to behaviors like excessive drinking and drug abuse. Adjusting the levels of neuropeptide Y in people may alter their addictive behavior -- which is exactly what the UCSF team observed in the fruit flies.

"If neuropeptide Y turns out to be the transducer between the state of the psyche and the drive to abuse alcohol and drugs, one could develop therapies to inhibit neuropeptide Y receptors," said Ulrike Heberlein, PhD, a Professor of Anatomy and Neurology at UCSF, who led the research.

Clinical trials are underway, she added, to test whether delivery of neuropeptide Y can alleviate anxiety and other mood disorders as well as obesity.

A Reward Switch in the Brain

The experiments, described this week in the journal Nauka, started with male fruit flies placed in a container with either virgin female flies or female flies that had already mated. While virgin females readily mate and are receptive toward courting males, once they have mated, females flies lose their interest in sex for a time because of the influence of a substance known as sex peptide, which males inject along with sperm at the culmination of the encounter. This causes them to reject the advances of the male flies.

The rejected males then gave up trying to mate altogether. Even when placed in the same cage as virgin flies, they were not as keen to have sex. Their drinking behavior also changed.

When placed by themselves in a new container and presented with two straws, one containing plain food and the other containing food supplemented with 15 percent alcohol, the sexually rejected flies binged on the alcohol, drinking far more than their sexually satisfied cousins whose advances were never spurned. The difference was not only apparent in their behavior. It was completely predicted by the levels of neuropeptide F in their brains.

"It's a switch that represents the level of reward in the brain and translates it into reward-seeking behavior," said Galit Shohat-Ophir, PhD, the first author of the new study.

A former postdoctoral researcher at UCSF, Shohat-Ophir is now a research specialist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center in Ashburn, VA. Later this year, Heberlein will also move to Janelia Farm, where she will become scientific program director.

Experiments Began as a "Crazy" Idea

When the work first started a few years ago, Shohat-Ophir said, it was just a crazy idea. The UCSF team suspected there might be a molecular mechanism in the brain linking social experiences like sexual rejection to psychological states such as depression of the brain system that responds to rewards. So they decided to test whether flies that were rejected sexually would be more prone to drinking.

Flies in the laboratory will normally drink to intoxication if given the choice, but this behavior is altered when neuropeptide F levels are altered in their brains because of their sexual experiences. Mated flies are less likely to seek out such rewarding experiences.

The male flies that were paired with receptive virgin females from the start and successfully mated had lots of neuropeptide F in their brains and drank very little alcohol.

Rejected flies, on the other hand, had lower levels of neuropeptide F in their brains, and sought alternative rewards by drinking to intoxication.

In their work, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir, and their colleagues showed that they could induce the same behaviors by genetically manipulating the neuropeptide F levels in the flies' brains. Activating the production of neuropeptide F in the brains of virgin males flies made them act as if they were sexually satisfied, and they voluntarily curtailed their drinking.

Lowering the levels of the neuropeptide F receptor made flies that were completely sexually satisfied act as if they were rejected, inciting them to drink more.

The finding has great relevance to addressing human addiction, though it may take years to translate this discovery into any new therapies for addicts, given the much greater complexities of the human mind.

The human version of neuropeptide F, called neuropeptide Y, may work similarly, connecting socially rewarding experiences to behaviors like binge drinking. Already, scientists know that levels of neuropeptide Y are reduced in people who suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder -- conditions that are also known to predispose people toward excessive alcohol and drug abuse.

Manipulating neuropeptide Y may not be so straightforward, however, since the molecule is distributed all over the human brain -- and based on rodent studies, it has roles in feeding, anxiety and sleep, in addition to alcohol consumption.

This work was funded by a Sandler Research Fellowship, the Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research at the University of California, San Francisco and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the National Institutes of Health.


Deprived of sex, jilted flies drink more alcohol

Sexually deprived male fruit flies exhibit a pattern of behavior that seems ripped from the pages of a sad-sack Raymond Carver story: when female fruit flies reject their sexual advances, the males are driven to excessive alcohol consumption, drinking far more than comparable, sexually satisfied male flies.

Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly's brain called neuropeptide F governs this behavior -- as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies' behavior changes as well.

The new work may help shed light on the brain mechanisms that make social interaction rewarding for animals and those that underlie human addiction. A similar human molecule, called neuropeptide Y, may likewise connect social triggers to behaviors like excessive drinking and drug abuse. Adjusting the levels of neuropeptide Y in people may alter their addictive behavior -- which is exactly what the UCSF team observed in the fruit flies.

"If neuropeptide Y turns out to be the transducer between the state of the psyche and the drive to abuse alcohol and drugs, one could develop therapies to inhibit neuropeptide Y receptors," said Ulrike Heberlein, PhD, a Professor of Anatomy and Neurology at UCSF, who led the research.

Clinical trials are underway, she added, to test whether delivery of neuropeptide Y can alleviate anxiety and other mood disorders as well as obesity.

A Reward Switch in the Brain

The experiments, described this week in the journal Nauka, started with male fruit flies placed in a container with either virgin female flies or female flies that had already mated. While virgin females readily mate and are receptive toward courting males, once they have mated, females flies lose their interest in sex for a time because of the influence of a substance known as sex peptide, which males inject along with sperm at the culmination of the encounter. This causes them to reject the advances of the male flies.

The rejected males then gave up trying to mate altogether. Even when placed in the same cage as virgin flies, they were not as keen to have sex. Their drinking behavior also changed.

When placed by themselves in a new container and presented with two straws, one containing plain food and the other containing food supplemented with 15 percent alcohol, the sexually rejected flies binged on the alcohol, drinking far more than their sexually satisfied cousins whose advances were never spurned. The difference was not only apparent in their behavior. It was completely predicted by the levels of neuropeptide F in their brains.

"It's a switch that represents the level of reward in the brain and translates it into reward-seeking behavior," said Galit Shohat-Ophir, PhD, the first author of the new study.

A former postdoctoral researcher at UCSF, Shohat-Ophir is now a research specialist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center in Ashburn, VA. Later this year, Heberlein will also move to Janelia Farm, where she will become scientific program director.

Experiments Began as a "Crazy" Idea

When the work first started a few years ago, Shohat-Ophir said, it was just a crazy idea. The UCSF team suspected there might be a molecular mechanism in the brain linking social experiences like sexual rejection to psychological states such as depression of the brain system that responds to rewards. So they decided to test whether flies that were rejected sexually would be more prone to drinking.

Flies in the laboratory will normally drink to intoxication if given the choice, but this behavior is altered when neuropeptide F levels are altered in their brains because of their sexual experiences. Mated flies are less likely to seek out such rewarding experiences.

The male flies that were paired with receptive virgin females from the start and successfully mated had lots of neuropeptide F in their brains and drank very little alcohol.

Rejected flies, on the other hand, had lower levels of neuropeptide F in their brains, and sought alternative rewards by drinking to intoxication.

In their work, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir, and their colleagues showed that they could induce the same behaviors by genetically manipulating the neuropeptide F levels in the flies' brains. Activating the production of neuropeptide F in the brains of virgin males flies made them act as if they were sexually satisfied, and they voluntarily curtailed their drinking.

Lowering the levels of the neuropeptide F receptor made flies that were completely sexually satisfied act as if they were rejected, inciting them to drink more.

The finding has great relevance to addressing human addiction, though it may take years to translate this discovery into any new therapies for addicts, given the much greater complexities of the human mind.

The human version of neuropeptide F, called neuropeptide Y, may work similarly, connecting socially rewarding experiences to behaviors like binge drinking. Already, scientists know that levels of neuropeptide Y are reduced in people who suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder -- conditions that are also known to predispose people toward excessive alcohol and drug abuse.

Manipulating neuropeptide Y may not be so straightforward, however, since the molecule is distributed all over the human brain -- and based on rodent studies, it has roles in feeding, anxiety and sleep, in addition to alcohol consumption.

This work was funded by a Sandler Research Fellowship, the Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research at the University of California, San Francisco and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the National Institutes of Health.


Deprived of sex, jilted flies drink more alcohol

Sexually deprived male fruit flies exhibit a pattern of behavior that seems ripped from the pages of a sad-sack Raymond Carver story: when female fruit flies reject their sexual advances, the males are driven to excessive alcohol consumption, drinking far more than comparable, sexually satisfied male flies.

Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly's brain called neuropeptide F governs this behavior -- as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies' behavior changes as well.

The new work may help shed light on the brain mechanisms that make social interaction rewarding for animals and those that underlie human addiction. A similar human molecule, called neuropeptide Y, may likewise connect social triggers to behaviors like excessive drinking and drug abuse. Adjusting the levels of neuropeptide Y in people may alter their addictive behavior -- which is exactly what the UCSF team observed in the fruit flies.

"If neuropeptide Y turns out to be the transducer between the state of the psyche and the drive to abuse alcohol and drugs, one could develop therapies to inhibit neuropeptide Y receptors," said Ulrike Heberlein, PhD, a Professor of Anatomy and Neurology at UCSF, who led the research.

Clinical trials are underway, she added, to test whether delivery of neuropeptide Y can alleviate anxiety and other mood disorders as well as obesity.

A Reward Switch in the Brain

The experiments, described this week in the journal Nauka, started with male fruit flies placed in a container with either virgin female flies or female flies that had already mated. While virgin females readily mate and are receptive toward courting males, once they have mated, females flies lose their interest in sex for a time because of the influence of a substance known as sex peptide, which males inject along with sperm at the culmination of the encounter. This causes them to reject the advances of the male flies.

The rejected males then gave up trying to mate altogether. Even when placed in the same cage as virgin flies, they were not as keen to have sex. Their drinking behavior also changed.

When placed by themselves in a new container and presented with two straws, one containing plain food and the other containing food supplemented with 15 percent alcohol, the sexually rejected flies binged on the alcohol, drinking far more than their sexually satisfied cousins whose advances were never spurned. The difference was not only apparent in their behavior. It was completely predicted by the levels of neuropeptide F in their brains.

"It's a switch that represents the level of reward in the brain and translates it into reward-seeking behavior," said Galit Shohat-Ophir, PhD, the first author of the new study.

A former postdoctoral researcher at UCSF, Shohat-Ophir is now a research specialist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center in Ashburn, VA. Later this year, Heberlein will also move to Janelia Farm, where she will become scientific program director.

Experiments Began as a "Crazy" Idea

When the work first started a few years ago, Shohat-Ophir said, it was just a crazy idea. The UCSF team suspected there might be a molecular mechanism in the brain linking social experiences like sexual rejection to psychological states such as depression of the brain system that responds to rewards. So they decided to test whether flies that were rejected sexually would be more prone to drinking.

Flies in the laboratory will normally drink to intoxication if given the choice, but this behavior is altered when neuropeptide F levels are altered in their brains because of their sexual experiences. Mated flies are less likely to seek out such rewarding experiences.

The male flies that were paired with receptive virgin females from the start and successfully mated had lots of neuropeptide F in their brains and drank very little alcohol.

Rejected flies, on the other hand, had lower levels of neuropeptide F in their brains, and sought alternative rewards by drinking to intoxication.

In their work, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir, and their colleagues showed that they could induce the same behaviors by genetically manipulating the neuropeptide F levels in the flies' brains. Activating the production of neuropeptide F in the brains of virgin males flies made them act as if they were sexually satisfied, and they voluntarily curtailed their drinking.

Lowering the levels of the neuropeptide F receptor made flies that were completely sexually satisfied act as if they were rejected, inciting them to drink more.

The finding has great relevance to addressing human addiction, though it may take years to translate this discovery into any new therapies for addicts, given the much greater complexities of the human mind.

The human version of neuropeptide F, called neuropeptide Y, may work similarly, connecting socially rewarding experiences to behaviors like binge drinking. Already, scientists know that levels of neuropeptide Y are reduced in people who suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder -- conditions that are also known to predispose people toward excessive alcohol and drug abuse.

Manipulating neuropeptide Y may not be so straightforward, however, since the molecule is distributed all over the human brain -- and based on rodent studies, it has roles in feeding, anxiety and sleep, in addition to alcohol consumption.

This work was funded by a Sandler Research Fellowship, the Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research at the University of California, San Francisco and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the National Institutes of Health.


Deprived of sex, jilted flies drink more alcohol

Sexually deprived male fruit flies exhibit a pattern of behavior that seems ripped from the pages of a sad-sack Raymond Carver story: when female fruit flies reject their sexual advances, the males are driven to excessive alcohol consumption, drinking far more than comparable, sexually satisfied male flies.

Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly's brain called neuropeptide F governs this behavior -- as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies' behavior changes as well.

The new work may help shed light on the brain mechanisms that make social interaction rewarding for animals and those that underlie human addiction. A similar human molecule, called neuropeptide Y, may likewise connect social triggers to behaviors like excessive drinking and drug abuse. Adjusting the levels of neuropeptide Y in people may alter their addictive behavior -- which is exactly what the UCSF team observed in the fruit flies.

"If neuropeptide Y turns out to be the transducer between the state of the psyche and the drive to abuse alcohol and drugs, one could develop therapies to inhibit neuropeptide Y receptors," said Ulrike Heberlein, PhD, a Professor of Anatomy and Neurology at UCSF, who led the research.

Clinical trials are underway, she added, to test whether delivery of neuropeptide Y can alleviate anxiety and other mood disorders as well as obesity.

A Reward Switch in the Brain

The experiments, described this week in the journal Nauka, started with male fruit flies placed in a container with either virgin female flies or female flies that had already mated. While virgin females readily mate and are receptive toward courting males, once they have mated, females flies lose their interest in sex for a time because of the influence of a substance known as sex peptide, which males inject along with sperm at the culmination of the encounter. This causes them to reject the advances of the male flies.

The rejected males then gave up trying to mate altogether. Even when placed in the same cage as virgin flies, they were not as keen to have sex. Their drinking behavior also changed.

When placed by themselves in a new container and presented with two straws, one containing plain food and the other containing food supplemented with 15 percent alcohol, the sexually rejected flies binged on the alcohol, drinking far more than their sexually satisfied cousins whose advances were never spurned. The difference was not only apparent in their behavior. It was completely predicted by the levels of neuropeptide F in their brains.

"It's a switch that represents the level of reward in the brain and translates it into reward-seeking behavior," said Galit Shohat-Ophir, PhD, the first author of the new study.

A former postdoctoral researcher at UCSF, Shohat-Ophir is now a research specialist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Janelia Farm Research Center in Ashburn, VA. Later this year, Heberlein will also move to Janelia Farm, where she will become scientific program director.

Experiments Began as a "Crazy" Idea

When the work first started a few years ago, Shohat-Ophir said, it was just a crazy idea. The UCSF team suspected there might be a molecular mechanism in the brain linking social experiences like sexual rejection to psychological states such as depression of the brain system that responds to rewards. So they decided to test whether flies that were rejected sexually would be more prone to drinking.

Flies in the laboratory will normally drink to intoxication if given the choice, but this behavior is altered when neuropeptide F levels are altered in their brains because of their sexual experiences. Mated flies are less likely to seek out such rewarding experiences.

The male flies that were paired with receptive virgin females from the start and successfully mated had lots of neuropeptide F in their brains and drank very little alcohol.

Rejected flies, on the other hand, had lower levels of neuropeptide F in their brains, and sought alternative rewards by drinking to intoxication.

In their work, Heberlein, Shohat-Ophir, and their colleagues showed that they could induce the same behaviors by genetically manipulating the neuropeptide F levels in the flies' brains. Activating the production of neuropeptide F in the brains of virgin males flies made them act as if they were sexually satisfied, and they voluntarily curtailed their drinking.

Lowering the levels of the neuropeptide F receptor made flies that were completely sexually satisfied act as if they were rejected, inciting them to drink more.

The finding has great relevance to addressing human addiction, though it may take years to translate this discovery into any new therapies for addicts, given the much greater complexities of the human mind.

The human version of neuropeptide F, called neuropeptide Y, may work similarly, connecting socially rewarding experiences to behaviors like binge drinking. Already, scientists know that levels of neuropeptide Y are reduced in people who suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder -- conditions that are also known to predispose people toward excessive alcohol and drug abuse.

Manipulating neuropeptide Y may not be so straightforward, however, since the molecule is distributed all over the human brain -- and based on rodent studies, it has roles in feeding, anxiety and sleep, in addition to alcohol consumption.

This work was funded by a Sandler Research Fellowship, the Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research at the University of California, San Francisco and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the National Institutes of Health.


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