The Drosophila TRPA1 Channel and Neuronal Circuits Controlling Rhythmic Behaviours and Sleep in Response to Environmental Temperature.

Interntional Journal of Molecular Sciences
October 2017
Roessingh S
Stanewsky R

trpA1 encodes a thermosensitive transient receptor potential channel (TRP channel) that functions in selection of preferred temperatures and noxious heat avoidance. In this review, we discuss the evidence for a role of TRPA1 in the control of rhythmic behaviours in Drosophila melanogaster. Activity levels during the afternoon and rhythmic temperature preference are both regulated by TRPA1. In contrast, TRPA1 is dispensable for temperature synchronisation of circadian clocks. We discuss the neuronal basis of TRPA1-mediated temperature effects on rhythmic behaviours, and conclude that they are mediated by partly overlapping but distinct neuronal circuits. We have previously shown that TRPA1 is required to maintain siesta sleep under warm temperature cycles. Here, we present new data investigating the neuronal circuit responsible for this regulation. First, we discuss the difficulties that remain in identifying the responsible neurons. Second, we discuss the role of clock neurons (s-LNv/DN1 network) in temperature-driven regulation of siesta sleep, and highlight the role of TRPA1 therein. Finally, we discuss the sexual dimorphic nature of siesta sleep and propose that the s-LNv/DN1 clock network could play a role in the integration of environmental information, mating status and other internal drives, to appropriately drive adaptive sleep/wake behaviour.