Midgut-derived neuropeptide F controls germline stem cell proliferation in a mating-dependent manner

by Tomotsune Ameku, Yuto Yoshinari, Michael J. Texada, Shu Kondo, Kotaro Amezawa, Goro Yoshizaki, Yuko Shimada-Niwa, Ryusuke Niwa

Stem cell maintenance is established by neighboring niche cells that promote stem cell self-renewal. However, it is poorly understood how stem cell activity is regulated by systemic, tissue-extrinsic signals in response to environmental cues and changes in physiological status. Here, we show that neuropeptide F (NPF) signaling plays an important role in the pathway regulating mating-induced germline stem cell (GSC) proliferation in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. NPF expressed in enteroendocrine cells (EECs) of the midgut is released in response to the seminal-fluid protein sex peptide (SP) upon mating. This midgut-derived NPF controls mating-induced GSC proliferation via ovarian NPF receptor (NPFR) activity, which modulates bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling levels in GSCs. Our study provides a molecular mechanism that describes how a gut-derived systemic factor couples stem cell behavior to physiological status, such as mating, through interorgan communication.

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