Home Publications A single dopamine pathway underlies progressive locomotor deficits in a Drosophila model of Parkinson disease
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Thomas Riemensperger, Abdul-Raouf Issa, Ulrike Pech, Hélène Coulom, My-Van Nguyen, Marlène Cassar, Mélanie Jacquet, André Fiala, and Serge Birman (2013)

A single dopamine pathway underlies progressive locomotor deficits in a Drosophila model of Parkinson disease

Cell Reports 5(4):952-960.  (export entry)


Expression of the human Parkinson-disease-associated protein α-synuclein in all Drosophila neurons induces progressive locomotor deficits. Here, we identify a group of 15 dopaminergic neurons per hemisphere in the anterior medial region of the brain whose disruption correlates with climbing impairments in this model. These neurons selectively innervate the horizontal β and β' lobes of the mushroom bodies, and their connections to the Kenyon cells are markedly reduced when they express α-synuclein. Using selective mushroom body drivers, we show that blocking or overstimulating neuronal activity in the β' lobe, but not the β or γ lobes, significantly inhibits negative geotaxis behavior. This suggests that modulation of the mushroom body β' lobes by this dopaminergic pathway is specifically required for an efficient control of startle-induced locomotion in flies.
doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.10.032