KAUST Research Workshop on Innovative Technologies to Study Brain Energy Metabolism
CNRS, ESPCI Paris, France
Pierre-Yves Placais is Researcher in the Genes and Dynamics of Memory Systems team at theÉcole Supérieure De Physique et de Chimie Industrielles De La Ville De Paris.
Pierre-Yves Plaçais1, Éloïse de Tredern1,*, Lisa Scheunemann1,*, Séverine Trannoy1, Valérie Goguel1, Kyung-An Han2, Guillaume Isabel1, Thomas Preat1.
1 : Genes and Dynamics of Memory Systems, Brain Plasticity Unit, CNRS, ESPCI Paris, PSL Research University, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris, France.
2 : Department of Biological Sciences, Border Biomedical Research Center, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA.
* : E.d.T. and L.S. contributed equally to the study.
Efficient energy use has constrained the evolution of nervous systems. However, it is unresolved whether energy metabolism may resultantly regulate major brain functions. Our observation that Drosophila flies double their sucrose intake at an early stage of long-term memory formation initiated the investigation of how energy metabolism intervenes in this process. Cellular-resolution imaging of energy metabolism using genetically-encoded pyruvate and glucose sensors revealed a concurrent elevation of energy consumption in neurons of the mushroom body, the fly's major memory center. Strikingly, using genetic manipulations of the activity of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, we showed that the upregulation of mushroom body energy flux is both necessary and sufficient to drive long-term memory formation. This effect is triggered by a specific pair of dopaminergic neurons afferent to the mushroom bodies, via a particular dopamine receptor called DAMB. Hence, dopamine signaling mediates an energy switch in the mushroom body that controls long-term memory encoding. Our data thus point to an instructional role for energy flux in the execution of demanding higher brain functions.