The Drosophila midgut and the systemic coordination of lipid-dependent energy homeostasis.
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The evolution of complex organ systems in metazoans has dictated that the maintenance of energy homeostasis requires coordinating local and systemic energy demands between organs with specialized functions. The gastrointestinal tract is one of many organs that is indispensable for the systemic coordination of energy substrate uptake, storage, and usage, and the spatial organization of this organ (i.e. proximity to other metabolic organs) within a complex body plan underlies its role in organ crosstalk. Studies of various arthropod intestines, and in particular insects, have shed light on the evolution and function of the gastrointestinal tract in the maintenance of energy homeostasis. This brief review focuses on studies and theories derived from the insect intestine (particularly the midgut) of adult Drosophila melanogaster to inform on the how, what, and why of the gastrointestinal tract in the systemic regulation of lipids, the most common form of stored energy in insects.