Insulin signalling regulates remating in female Drosophila

Stuart Wigby, Cathy Slack, Sebastian Grönke, Pedro Martinez, Federico C. F. Calboli, Tracey Chapman, Linda Partridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mating rate is a major determinant of female lifespan and fitness, and is predicted to optimize at an intermediate level, beyond which superfluous matings are costly. In female Drosophila melanogaster, nutrition is a key regulator of mating rate but the underlying mechanism is unknown. The evolutionarily conserved insulin/insulin-like growth factor-like signalling (IIS) pathway is responsive to nutrition, and regulates development, metabolism, stress resistance, fecundity and lifespan. Here we show that inhibition of IIS, by ablation of Drosophila insulin-like peptide (DILP)-producing median neurosecretory cells, knockout of dilp2, dilp3 or dilp5 genes, expression of a dominant-negative DILP-receptor (InR) transgene or knockout of Lnk, results in reduced female remating rates. IIS-mediated regulation of female remating can occur independent of virgin receptivity, developmental defects, reduced body size or fecundity, and the receipt of the female receptivity-inhibiting male sex peptide. Our results provide a likely mechanism by which females match remating rates to the perceived nutritional environment. The findings suggest that longevity-mediating genes could often have pleiotropic effects on remating rate. However, overexpression of the IIS-regulated transcription factor dFOXO in the fat body—which extends lifespan—does not affect remating rate. Thus, long life and reduced remating are not obligatorily coupled.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-431
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume278
Issue number1704
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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