Mishra S, Dabaja M, Akhlaq A, Pereira B, Marbach K, Rovcanin M, Chandra R, Caballero A, Fernandes de Abreu D, Ch'ng Q, Alcedo J (2023) Specific sensory neurons and insulin-like peptides modulate food type-dependent oogenesis and fertilization in Caenorhabditis elegans. Elife 12: e83224.

An animal's responses to environmental cues are critical for its reproductive program. Thus, a mechanism that allows the animal to sense and adjust to its environment should make for a more efficient reproductive physiology. Here we demonstrate that in Caenorhabditis elegans specific sensory neurons influence onset of oogenesis through insulin signaling in response to food-derived cues. The chemosensory neurons ASJ modulate oogenesis onset through the insulin-like peptide (ILP) INS‑6. In contrast, other sensory neurons, the olfactory neurons AWA, regulate food type-dependent differences in C. elegans fertilization rates, but not onset of oogenesis. AWA modulates fertilization rates at least partly in parallel to insulin receptor signaling, since the insulin receptor DAF‑2 regulates fertilization independently of food type, which requires ILPs other than INS-6. Together our findings suggest that optimal reproduction requires the integration of diverse food-derived inputs through multiple neuronal signals acting on the C. elegans germline.

Pubmed: 37975568