Journal: PLOS Biology
Affiliations: 8Go to article
Sex prompts an important gut feeling
© Joao Paulo Burini/Getty
Mating between fruit flies stimulates the release of a signalling molecule in the gut that induces the proliferation of stem cells in the female partner’s ovaries.
This finding demonstrates how communication between organs — in this case, via a gut-derived factor — can link behaviour and cellular development.
A team led by University of Tsukuba researchers showed that female Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies respond to the presence of seminal-fluid proteins after mating by secreting a hormone called neuropeptide F from cells found in the wall of the intestines. The hormone then acts on ovarian tissue to control the division and differentiation of those stem cells ultimately destined to become eggs.
The study is the first to show that a gut-derived factor can modulate the activity of these types of ‘germline’ stem cells.
- PLoS Biology 16, e2005004 (2018). doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2005004