Oxytocin-like signaling in ants influences metabolic gene expression and locomotor activity Journal Article


Author(s): Liutkeviciute, Zita; Gil-Mansilla, Esther; Eder, Thomas; Casillas-Perez, Barbara; Giulia Di Giglio, Maria; Muratspahić, Edin; Grebien, Florian; Rattei, Thomas; Muttenthaler, Markus; Cremer, Sylvia; Gruber, Christian W
Article Title: Oxytocin-like signaling in ants influences metabolic gene expression and locomotor activity
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Ants are emerging model systems to study cellular signaling because distinct castes possess different physiologic phenotypes within the same colony. Here we studied the functionality of inotocin signaling, an insect ortholog of mammalian oxytocin (OT), which was recently discovered in ants. In Lasius ants, we determined that specialization within the colony, seasonal factors, and physiologic conditions down-regulated the expression of the OT-like signaling system. Given this natural variation, we interrogated its function using RNAi knockdowns. Next-generation RNA sequencing of OT-like precursor knock-down ants highlighted its role in the regulation of genes involved in metabolism. Knock-down ants exhibited higher walking activity and increased self-grooming in the brood chamber. We propose that OT-like signaling in ants is important for regulating metabolic processes and locomotion.
Keywords: G protein–coupled receptor; inotocin; insect; vasopressin; vasotocin
Journal Title: The FASEB Journal
ISSN: 1530-6860
Publisher: FASEB  
Date Published: 2018-06-25
Start Page: epub ahead of print
DOI: 10.1096/fj.201800443
Open access: no