Lehrstuhl für Neurobiologie und Genetik

    Endocrine cybernetics: neuropeptides as molecular switches in behavioural decisions


    This co-authored review by Dick Nässel and Meet Zandawala discusses the role of neuropeptides as molecular switches in behavioural decisions. Classical work by Norbert Wiener (1948) laid the foundations for cybernetics - the study of control and communication in the animal and the machine. Nobel laureate Roger Guillemin used the generic name "cybernin" to refer to peptides used for paracrine signaling. The authors coin the term "endocrine cybernetics" which is the regulation or governance of behavior by paracrine chemical signaling.

    Neuropeptide-producing neurons act as hubs which integrate inputs from multiple sources, and in turn, provide relevant signals to regulate behavior and associated physiology. The review describes peptidergic neurons in Drosophila and presents a framework to classify them into different categories from global to local actions based on their morphology (far reaching to local innervation). This classification will aid our understanding of neuropeptides. The review discusses neuropeptides that regulate the balance between competing behaviors such as mating vs aggression and sleep vs feeding. It also summarizes the latest findings on gut-brain signaling and the role of gut peptides in modulating behavior and metabolism. Last but not the least, the future of neuropeptide research is predicted in the post-connectomic era.

    Bitte lesen Sie hier weiter

    Journal: Open Biology
    Nässel, D. R., and Zandawala, M