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N°30 I quarterly I july 2013 Snapshot | 39 Feeding the Brain BY Isabelle Tratner wThis is a confocal microscopy image of optic lobes in the brain of adult flies. It was obtained by Cédric Maurange’s team at the IBDM1 in Marseille, while studying the impact of nutrient restriction on Drosophila brain development. Neuron nuclei are colored in grey whereas the synapses they form are stained in red. The study2 demonstrates that dietary restriction at an early larval stage reduces the size of the optic lobes (lower left as compared to upper right), due to a decrease in the number of neural progenitors. At later stages, however, the same brain area becomes insensitive to the diet, and each progenitor gives rise to the normal repertoire of neurons—thus preserving neuronal diversity independently of dietary conditions. Interestingly, this can be compared to human brain development, which exhibits distinct responses to dietary restriction depending on the foetal stage. 01. Institut de biologie du développement de Marseille (CNRS / Aix-Marseille Université). 02. E. Lanet et al., “Protection of Neuronal Diversity at the Expense of Neuronal Numbers during Nutrient Restriction in the Drosophila Visual System.” Cell Reports, 2013. 3: 587-94. Contact Information: IBDM, Marseille. Cédric Maurange > cedric.maurange@univ-amu.fr © C. MAURA NGE/E. LA NET / IBDM/CNRS photothèque


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