Dopaminergic neurons in Drosophila
play critical roles in diverse brain functions such as motor control, arousal, learning, and memory. Using genetic and behavioral approaches, it has been firmly established that proper dopamine signaling is required for olfactory classical conditioning (e.g., aversive and appetitive learning). Dopamine mediates its functions through interaction with its receptors. There are two different types of dopamine receptors in Drosophila
: D1-like (dDA1, DAMB) and D2-like receptors (DD2R). Currently, no study has attempted to characterize the role of DD2R in Drosophila
learning and memory. Using a DD2R-RNAi transgenic line, we have examined the role of DD2R, expressed in dopamine neurons (i.e.
, the presynaptic DD2R autoreceptor), in larval olfactory learning. The function of postsynaptic DD2R expressed in mushroom body (MB) was also studied as MB is the center for Drosophila
learning, with a function analogous to that of the mammalian hippocampus. Our results showed that suppression of presynaptic DD2R autoreceptors impairs both appetitive and aversive learning. Similarly, postsynaptic DD2R in MB neurons appears to be involved in both appetitive and aversive learning. The data confirm, for the first time, that DD2R plays an important role in Drosophila
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