October 26, 2020

Transsynaptic mapping of Drosophila mushroom body output neurons

The Mushroom Body (MB) is a well-characterized associative memory structure within the Drosophila brain. Although previous studies have analyzed MB connectivity and provided a map of inputs and outputs, a detailed map of the downstream targets is missing. Using the genetic anterograde transsynaptic tracing tool, trans-Tango, we identified divergent projections across the brain and convergent downstream targets of the MB output neurons (MBONs). Our analysis revealed at least three separate targets that receive convergent input from MBONs: other MBONs, the fan shaped body (FSB), and the lateral accessory lobe (LAL). We describe, both anatomically and functionally, a multilayer circuit in which inhibitory and excitatory MBONs converge on the same genetic subset of FSB and LAL neurons. This circuit architecture provides an opportunity for the brain to update information and integrate it with previous experience before executing appropriate behavioral responses.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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