Spike amplitude of single-unit responses in antennal sensillae is controlled by the Drosophila circadian clock. Academic Article uri icon


  • Circadian changes in membrane potential and spontaneous firing frequency have been observed in microbial systems, invertebrates, and mammals. Oscillators in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) from Drosophila are both necessary and sufficient to sustain rhythms in electroanntenogram (EAG) responses, suggesting that odorant receptors (ORs) and/or OR-dependent processes are under clock control. We measured single-unit responses in different antennal sensillae from wild-type, clock mutant, odorant-receptor mutant, and G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (Gprk2) mutant flies to examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive rhythms in olfaction. Spontaneous spike amplitude, but not spontaneous or odor-induced firing frequency, is under clock control in ab1 and ab3 basiconic sensillae and T2 trichoid sensillae. Mutants lacking odorant receptors in dendrites display constant low spike amplitudes, and the reduction or increase of levels of GPRK2 in OSNs results in constant low or constant high spontaneous spike amplitudes, respectively. We conclude that spike amplitude is controlled by circadian clocks in basiconic and trichoid sensillae and requires GPRK2 expression and the presence of functional ORs in dendrites. These results argue that rhythms in GPRK2 levels control OR localization and OR-dependent ion channel activity and/or composition to mediate rhythms in spontaneous spike amplitude.

published proceedings

  • Curr Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Krishnan, P., Chatterjee, A., Tanoue, S., & Hardin, P. E

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Krishnan, Parthasarathy||Chatterjee, Abhishek||Tanoue, Shintaro||Hardin, Paul E

publication date

  • May 2008