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A balanced diet of macronutrients is critical for animal health. A lack of specific elements can have profound effects on behavior, reproduction, and lifespan. Here, we used Drosophila to understand how the brain responds to carbohydrate deprivation. We found that serine protease homologs (SPHs) are enriched among genes that are transcriptionally regulated in flies deprived of carbohydrates. Stimulation of neurons expressing one of these SPHs, Scarface (Scaf), or overexpression of scaf positively regulates feeding on nutritious sugars, whereas inhibition of these neurons or knockdown of scaf reduces feeding. This modulation of food intake occurs only in sated flies while hunger-induced feeding is unaffected. Furthermore, scaf expression correlates with the presence of sugar in the food. As Scaf and Scaf neurons promote feeding independent of the hunger state, and the levels of scaf are positively regulated by the presence of sugar, we conclude that scaf mediates the hedonic control of feeding.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.celrep.2018.08.059

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cell Rep

Publication Date

18/09/2018

Volume

24

Pages

3194 - 3206.e4

Keywords

Drosophila, Scarface, carbohydrates, feeding behavior, hedonic control, macronutrient