Adaptive Expansion of Taste Neuron Response Profiles by Congruent Aroma in Drosophila

Yiwen Zhang, Yuhan Pu, Yan Zhang, Haini N. Cai, Ping Shen
2019 biorxiv/medrxiv  
Pairing of food aroma with selected taste can lead to enhanced food flavor and eating euphoria, but how cross-modal sensory combinations are integrated to increase food reward value remains largely unclear. Here we report that combined stimulation by food aroma and taste drastically increased appetite in well-nourished larvae, and the appetizing effect involves a previously uncharacterized smell-taste integration process at axon terminals of two Gr43a gustatory neurons. Molecular genetic
more » ... s of the smell-taste integration reveal a G protein-mediated tuning mechanism in two central neuropeptide F (NPF) neurons. This mechanism converts selected odor stimuli to NPF-encoded appetizing signals that potentiate Gr43a neuronal response to otherwise non-stimulating glucose or oleic acid. Further, NPF-potentiated responses to glucose and oleic acid require a Gr43a-independent and Gr43a-dependent pathway, respectively. Our finding of adaptive expansion of taste neuron response profiles by congruent aroma reveals a previously uncharacterized layer of neural complexity in food flavor perception.
doi:10.1101/859223 fatcat:ftmtnwdelfgijas4vsqsywycpe