Areas of Interest
In our laboratory, we have used a variety of unconventional techniques to establish that sensory neurons relate information about nutrition, danger, and conspecifics to initiate rapid changes in health and lifespan. Many of these changes occur in coordination with known behavioral outcomes, suggesting similarities in the underlying neural circuitry. Indeed, we have shown that small groups of neurons and select neuropeptides, which are known to control hunger and sexual reward, regulate lifespan. Our discoveries provoke the notion that aging, which has long been considered a process to which animals are passively exposed, may instead have much in common with complex behaviors. It is acutely malleable, susceptible to sensory influences, and strictly controlled by coordinated sets of neurons.
Published Articles or Reviews
- Lyu Y, Holme KJ, Shaukat H, Plumhoff MI, Tjilos M, Promislow DEL , Pletcher SD. 2020 Serotonin 2A receptor coordinates central metabolic processes to modulate aging and physiology in response to nutrient choice. ELife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.59399. PMCID: PMC7909950.
- Chakraborty TS, Gendron CM, Lyu Y, Munneke AS, DeMarco MN, Hoisington ZW, Pletcher SD. 2019. Sensory perception of dead conspecifics induces aversive cues and modulates lifespan through serotonin in Drosophila. Nat Commun, 10(1):2365.
- Gendron CM, Kuo TH, Harvanek ZM, Chung BY, Yew JY, Dierick HA, and S. D. Pletcher (2014) Drosophila lifespan and physiology are modulated by sexual perception and reward. Science. 343:544-48
- Libert, S., J. Zwiener, X. Chu, W. VanVoorhies, G. Roman, S. D. Pletcher. 2007. Regulation of Drosophila lifespan by olfaction and food-derived odors. Science. 315: 1133-1137