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Alpha- and beta-adrenergic octopamine receptors in muscle and heart are required for Drosophila exercise adaptations

by Alyson Sujkowski, Anna Gretzinger, Nicolette Soave, Sokol V. Todi, Robert Wessells

Endurance exercise has broadly protective effects across organisms, increasing metabolic fitness and reducing incidence of several age-related diseases. Drosophila has emerged as a useful model for studying changes induced by chronic endurance exercise, as exercising flies experience improvements to various aspects of fitness at the cellular, organ and organismal level. The activity of octopaminergic neurons is sufficient to induce the conserved cellular and physiological changes seen following endurance training. All 4 octopamine receptors are required in at least one target tissue, but only one, Octβ1R, is required for all of them. Here, we perform tissue- and adult-specific knockdown of alpha- and beta-adrenergic octopamine receptors in several target tissues. We find that reduced expression of Octβ1R in adult muscles abolishes exercise-induced improvements in endurance, climbing speed, flight, cardiac performance and fat-body catabolism in male Drosophila. Importantly, Octβ1R and OAMB expression in the heart is also required cell-nonautonomously for adaptations in other tissues, such as skeletal muscles in legs and adult fat body. These findings indicate that activation of distinct octopamine receptors in skeletal and cardiac muscle are required for Drosophila exercise adaptations, and suggest that cell non-autonomous factors downstream of octopaminergic activation play a key role.

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