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Sexual dimorphism in the fly brain.

Cachero S, Ostrovsky AD, Yu JY, Dickson BJ, Jefferis GS - Curr. Biol. (2010)

Bottom Line: Initial work found limited evidence for anatomical dimorphism in these fru+ neurons.Our analysis reveals substantial differences in wiring and gross anatomy between male and female fly brains.Reciprocal connection differences in the lateral horn offer a plausible explanation for opposing responses to sex pheromones in male and female flies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Neurobiology, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

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Distribution of fru+ Dimorphisms in the Brain(A) Dimorphic projections of fru+ neurons overlap dimorphic neuropil regions. Left shows overlap between male-specific arbors of fru+ clones and MER of the neuropil; right shows overlap between female-specific arbors and the female-enlarged regions (FERs) of neuropil. Colored regions are Z projections of the dimorphic arbors shown in Figure 2. Because these images are derived from unilateral mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker (MARCM) clones with cell bodies on the fly's left (which is on the right of this figure), they are not symmetric. The MER or FER is outlined in each panel as appropriate. Color scale: transparent (no clones) to red (11 clones). Although there are 21 dimorphic clones in males, the region of maximum density corresponds to the overlap of a subset of 11 of those clones.(B) Volumetric dimorphism and sex-specific arbors. There is a strong positive relationship between how many male (or female) specific arbors overlap any given voxel and the male:female volume ratio. For example, voxels with the highest number of overlapping dimorphic arbors (11) also have the highest volume ratio (median 81% male-enlarged). Box plot is as in Figure 1P with the addition of notches to indicate the 95% confidence interval for difference between medians.(C) Clones from (A) broken into functional groups (see Table 1). Each panel contains the dimorphic regions of all clones that belong to a given category. The number of clones in each category that have dimorphic regions and therefore contribute to each panel is shown at the bottom left (e.g., there are 16 visual clones, but only three have male dimorphic processes, and one has female dimorphic processes). Color scale is the same as in (A). Scale bar represents 50 μm.
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fig3: Distribution of fru+ Dimorphisms in the Brain(A) Dimorphic projections of fru+ neurons overlap dimorphic neuropil regions. Left shows overlap between male-specific arbors of fru+ clones and MER of the neuropil; right shows overlap between female-specific arbors and the female-enlarged regions (FERs) of neuropil. Colored regions are Z projections of the dimorphic arbors shown in Figure 2. Because these images are derived from unilateral mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker (MARCM) clones with cell bodies on the fly's left (which is on the right of this figure), they are not symmetric. The MER or FER is outlined in each panel as appropriate. Color scale: transparent (no clones) to red (11 clones). Although there are 21 dimorphic clones in males, the region of maximum density corresponds to the overlap of a subset of 11 of those clones.(B) Volumetric dimorphism and sex-specific arbors. There is a strong positive relationship between how many male (or female) specific arbors overlap any given voxel and the male:female volume ratio. For example, voxels with the highest number of overlapping dimorphic arbors (11) also have the highest volume ratio (median 81% male-enlarged). Box plot is as in Figure 1P with the addition of notches to indicate the 95% confidence interval for difference between medians.(C) Clones from (A) broken into functional groups (see Table 1). Each panel contains the dimorphic regions of all clones that belong to a given category. The number of clones in each category that have dimorphic regions and therefore contribute to each panel is shown at the bottom left (e.g., there are 16 visual clones, but only three have male dimorphic processes, and one has female dimorphic processes). Color scale is the same as in (A). Scale bar represents 50 μm.

Mentions: Having identified the comprehensive set of dimorphisms in fru+ neurons, we asked where these dimorphisms are located in the brain. We isolated the dimorphic arbors from the 21 clones in Figure 2 and overlaid them on our template brain (Figure 3A). Dimorphic arbors are widespread in males, extending over 11% of the neuropil (see Experimental Procedures) and potentially forming sex-specific connections with many different neurons. In females, dimorphic arbors extend over 2.1% of the brain. Although widely distributed, dimorphic arbors are heavily enriched in specific brain regions.


Sexual dimorphism in the fly brain.

Cachero S, Ostrovsky AD, Yu JY, Dickson BJ, Jefferis GS - Curr. Biol. (2010)

Distribution of fru+ Dimorphisms in the Brain(A) Dimorphic projections of fru+ neurons overlap dimorphic neuropil regions. Left shows overlap between male-specific arbors of fru+ clones and MER of the neuropil; right shows overlap between female-specific arbors and the female-enlarged regions (FERs) of neuropil. Colored regions are Z projections of the dimorphic arbors shown in Figure 2. Because these images are derived from unilateral mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker (MARCM) clones with cell bodies on the fly's left (which is on the right of this figure), they are not symmetric. The MER or FER is outlined in each panel as appropriate. Color scale: transparent (no clones) to red (11 clones). Although there are 21 dimorphic clones in males, the region of maximum density corresponds to the overlap of a subset of 11 of those clones.(B) Volumetric dimorphism and sex-specific arbors. There is a strong positive relationship between how many male (or female) specific arbors overlap any given voxel and the male:female volume ratio. For example, voxels with the highest number of overlapping dimorphic arbors (11) also have the highest volume ratio (median 81% male-enlarged). Box plot is as in Figure 1P with the addition of notches to indicate the 95% confidence interval for difference between medians.(C) Clones from (A) broken into functional groups (see Table 1). Each panel contains the dimorphic regions of all clones that belong to a given category. The number of clones in each category that have dimorphic regions and therefore contribute to each panel is shown at the bottom left (e.g., there are 16 visual clones, but only three have male dimorphic processes, and one has female dimorphic processes). Color scale is the same as in (A). Scale bar represents 50 μm.
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fig3: Distribution of fru+ Dimorphisms in the Brain(A) Dimorphic projections of fru+ neurons overlap dimorphic neuropil regions. Left shows overlap between male-specific arbors of fru+ clones and MER of the neuropil; right shows overlap between female-specific arbors and the female-enlarged regions (FERs) of neuropil. Colored regions are Z projections of the dimorphic arbors shown in Figure 2. Because these images are derived from unilateral mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker (MARCM) clones with cell bodies on the fly's left (which is on the right of this figure), they are not symmetric. The MER or FER is outlined in each panel as appropriate. Color scale: transparent (no clones) to red (11 clones). Although there are 21 dimorphic clones in males, the region of maximum density corresponds to the overlap of a subset of 11 of those clones.(B) Volumetric dimorphism and sex-specific arbors. There is a strong positive relationship between how many male (or female) specific arbors overlap any given voxel and the male:female volume ratio. For example, voxels with the highest number of overlapping dimorphic arbors (11) also have the highest volume ratio (median 81% male-enlarged). Box plot is as in Figure 1P with the addition of notches to indicate the 95% confidence interval for difference between medians.(C) Clones from (A) broken into functional groups (see Table 1). Each panel contains the dimorphic regions of all clones that belong to a given category. The number of clones in each category that have dimorphic regions and therefore contribute to each panel is shown at the bottom left (e.g., there are 16 visual clones, but only three have male dimorphic processes, and one has female dimorphic processes). Color scale is the same as in (A). Scale bar represents 50 μm.
Mentions: Having identified the comprehensive set of dimorphisms in fru+ neurons, we asked where these dimorphisms are located in the brain. We isolated the dimorphic arbors from the 21 clones in Figure 2 and overlaid them on our template brain (Figure 3A). Dimorphic arbors are widespread in males, extending over 11% of the neuropil (see Experimental Procedures) and potentially forming sex-specific connections with many different neurons. In females, dimorphic arbors extend over 2.1% of the brain. Although widely distributed, dimorphic arbors are heavily enriched in specific brain regions.

Bottom Line: Initial work found limited evidence for anatomical dimorphism in these fru+ neurons.Our analysis reveals substantial differences in wiring and gross anatomy between male and female fly brains.Reciprocal connection differences in the lateral horn offer a plausible explanation for opposing responses to sex pheromones in male and female flies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Neurobiology, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus