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Flies turn to drinking after sexual refusal

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Published on Mar 15, 2012

Flies turn to drinking after sexual refusal

Video: Flies turn to drinking after sexual refusal
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/s...
This sequence of three videos shows a male fly courting and successfully mating with a female fly, another male fly being rejected by a female, and a male choosing to consume an alcohol-infused solution over a non-alcohol solution. Video © Science/AAAS

- Sexually Rejected Flies Turn to Booze
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow...

- Rejected flies turn to booze
Single neurotransmitter underlies rewards from sex and alcohol.
http://www.nature.com/news/rejected-f...

- Sexually deprived Drosophila become bar flies
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/s...

Reference
Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila
Science 16 March 2012: Vol. 335 no. 6074 pp. 1351-1355 DOI: 10.1126/science.1215932
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335...

Abstract
The brain's reward systems reinforce behaviors required for species survival, including sex, food consumption, and social interaction. Drugs of abuse co-opt these neural pathways, which can lead to addiction. Here, we used Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the relationship between natural and drug rewards. In males, mating increased, whereas sexual deprivation reduced, neuropeptide F (NPF) levels. Activation or inhibition of the NPF system in turn reduced or enhanced ethanol preference. These results thus link sexual experience, NPF system activity, and ethanol consumption. Artificial activation of NPF neurons was in itself rewarding and precluded the ability of ethanol to act as a reward. We propose that activity of the NPF--NPF receptor axis represents the state of the fly reward system and modifies behavior accordingly.

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