Neuronal processing of noxious thermal stimuli mediated by dendritic Ca(2+) influx in Drosophila somatosensory neurons.

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  • Mitochondrial dysfunction induces dendritic loss via eIF2α phosphorylation
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction induces dendritic loss via eIF2alpha phosphorylation


Adequate responses to noxious stimuli causing tissue damages are essential for organismal survival. Class IV neurons in Drosophila larvae are polymodal nociceptors responsible for thermal, mechanical, and light sensation. Importantly, activation of Class IV provoked distinct avoidance behaviors, depending on the inputs. We found that noxious thermal stimuli, but not blue light stimulation, caused a unique pattern of Class IV, which were composed of pauses after high-frequency spike trains and a large Ca(2+) rise in the dendrite (the Ca(2+) transient). Both these responses depended on two TRPA channels and the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (L-VGCC), showing that the thermosensation provokes Ca(2+) influx. The precipitous fluctuation of firing rate in Class IV neurons enhanced the robust heat avoidance. We hypothesize that the Ca(2+) influx can be a key signal encoding a specific modality.


  • eLife

    eLife 5 815-834, 2016-02-15

    eLife Sciences Publications Ltd.

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