Amidated neuropeptides of the FMRFamide class regulate numerous physiological processes including synaptic efficacy at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We demonstrate here that mutations in wishful thinking (wit) a gene encoding a Drosophila Bmp type 2 receptor that is required for proper neurotransmitter release at the neuromuscular junction, also eliminates expression of FMRFa in that subset of neuroendocrine cells (Tv neurons) which provide the systemic supply of FMRFa peptides. We show that Gbb, a Bmp ligand expressed in the neurohemal organ provides a retrograde signal that helps specify the peptidergic phenotype of the Tv neurons. Finally, we show that supplying FMRFa in neurosecretory cells partially rescues the wit lethal phenotype without rescuing the primary morphological or electrophysiological defects of wit mutants. We propose that Wit and Gbb globally regulate NMJ function by controlling both the growth and transmitter release properties of the synapse as well as the expression of systemic modulators of NMJ synaptic activity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Nov 2003|
- Neurohemal organ
- Neuromuscular junction
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University Imaging Centers
Mark A Sanders (Program Director) & Guillermo Marques (Scientific Director)University Imaging Centers