Molecular and neuronal mechanisms of thermosensory behavior

Summary

Principal Investigator: Piali Sengupta
Affiliation: Brandeis University
Country: USA
Abstract: The mechanisms by which animals respond to environmental temperature is not fully understood. C. elegans responds to ambient temperature in a complex, experience-dependent manner. The behavior of C. elegans on a thermal gradient is dependent on its prior temperature history. The goal of this proposal is to define the molecular and neuronal mechanisms required for C. elegans thermosensory responses and behavioral plasticity. Specifically, we will: 1) Characterize the molecules and pathways in the AFD thermosensory neurons required for different aspects of C. elegans thermosensory behavior. We have used quantitative behavioral and calcium imaging assays to dissect C. elegans thermosensory behavior into several underlying components. We will use these assays to define the contributions of candidate molecules to different aspects of thermosensory responses, and begin to place these molecules in genetic and biochemical pathways. 2) Identify the thermosensory neuron driving a cryophilic bias. Neuronal circuit analyses indicate that a thermosensory neuron other than the AFD neurons responds to temperature. We will identify this neuron using laser-mediated disruption experiments. 3) Identify and analyze molecular thermosensors. We will use forward and reverse genetic approaches to identify molecular thermoreceptors. Thermoreceptor functions will be further validated by misexpression and heterologous expression experiments. This work will identify new molecules involved in thermosensation, thermosensory signal transduction and neuronal plasticity. We expect that similar molecules and mechanisms operate in higher animals to regulate nervous system function in multiple contexts, including in neuronal disorders. Lay summary: The goal is to identify molecules and neurons required for sensing temperature using the C. elegans model system. Many of these genes are expected to be conserved in other organisms including humans, and to play important roles in regulating neuron functions.
Funding Period: ----------------2007 - ---------------2011-
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Heat avoidance is regulated by transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and a neuropeptide signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Dominique A Glauser
    Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
    Genetics 188:91-103. 2011
  2. pmc The belly rules the nose: feeding state-dependent modulation of peripheral chemosensory responses
    Piali Sengupta
    Department of Biology and the National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, United States
    Curr Opin Neurobiol 23:68-75. 2013
  3. pmc Sensing temperature
    Piali Sengupta
    Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA
    Curr Biol 23:R304-7. 2013
  4. pmc Caenorhabditis elegans: a model system for systems neuroscience
    Piali Sengupta
    Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, United States
    Curr Opin Neurobiol 19:637-43. 2009
  5. pmc Genome-wide analysis of light- and temperature-entrained circadian transcripts in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Alexander M van der Linden
    Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States of America
    PLoS Biol 8:e1000503. 2010
  6. pmc Running hot and cold: behavioral strategies, neural circuits, and the molecular machinery for thermotaxis in C. elegans and Drosophila
    Paul A Garrity
    Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454, USA
    Genes Dev 24:2365-82. 2010
  7. pmc Regulation of response properties and operating range of the AFD thermosensory neurons by cGMP signaling
    Sara M Wasserman
    Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA
    Curr Biol 21:353-62. 2011
  8. pmc Degeneracy and neuromodulation among thermosensory neurons contribute to robust thermosensory behaviors in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Matthew Beverly
    Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454, USA
    J Neurosci 31:11718-27. 2011

Scientific Experts

  • Piali Sengupta
  • Matthew Beverly
  • Paul A Garrity
  • Sara M Wasserman
  • Dominique A Glauser
  • Miriam B Goodman
  • Alexander M van der Linden
  • Andrew B Hellman
  • Rebecca Agin
  • Bronwyn L MacInnis
  • Will C Chen
  • Harold W Bell
  • Man Wah Tan
  • Sriram Anbil
  • Aravinthan D Samuel
  • Joseph Rodriguez
  • Sebastian Kadener
  • Michael Rosbash
  • Sara Wasserman

Detail Information

Publications8

  1. pmc Heat avoidance is regulated by transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and a neuropeptide signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Dominique A Glauser
    Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
    Genetics 188:91-103. 2011
    ..Our results show that TRPV channels and the FLP-21/NPR-1 neuropeptide signaling pathway determine the threshold for heat avoidance in C. elegans...
  2. pmc The belly rules the nose: feeding state-dependent modulation of peripheral chemosensory responses
    Piali Sengupta
    Department of Biology and the National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, United States
    Curr Opin Neurobiol 23:68-75. 2013
    ..Focusing primarily on recent work in C. elegans and Drosophila, I describe the neuromodulatory mechanisms that translate feeding state information into changes in chemosensory neuron response properties and behavioral output...
  3. pmc Sensing temperature
    Piali Sengupta
    Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA
    Curr Biol 23:R304-7. 2013
    ....
  4. pmc Caenorhabditis elegans: a model system for systems neuroscience
    Piali Sengupta
    Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, United States
    Curr Opin Neurobiol 19:637-43. 2009
    ....
  5. pmc Genome-wide analysis of light- and temperature-entrained circadian transcripts in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Alexander M van der Linden
    Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States of America
    PLoS Biol 8:e1000503. 2010
    ..Together, these findings demonstrate circadian-regulated transcriptional rhythms in C. elegans and suggest that further analyses in this organism will provide new information about the evolution and function of this biological clock...
  6. pmc Running hot and cold: behavioral strategies, neural circuits, and the molecular machinery for thermotaxis in C. elegans and Drosophila
    Paul A Garrity
    Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454, USA
    Genes Dev 24:2365-82. 2010
    ..Here, we discuss the role of thermosensation in the development and survival of C. elegans and Drosophila, and review the behavioral strategies, neuronal circuits, and molecular networks responsible for thermotaxis behavior...
  7. pmc Regulation of response properties and operating range of the AFD thermosensory neurons by cGMP signaling
    Sara M Wasserman
    Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA
    Curr Biol 21:353-62. 2011
    ..However, because AFD thermosensory responses appear to be similar at all examined temperatures above T∗(AFD), the mechanisms that generate specific behaviors in defined temperature ranges remain to be determined...
  8. pmc Degeneracy and neuromodulation among thermosensory neurons contribute to robust thermosensory behaviors in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Matthew Beverly
    Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454, USA
    J Neurosci 31:11718-27. 2011
    ....