Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Brain keeps body size and shape in check

Sci. Signal.  17 Nov 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 403, pp. ec342
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad8627

Animal systems show amazing left-right symmetry—think of how our legs or arms, or the legs or wings of an insect, are matched in size and shape. Environmental insults and growth defects can challenge these developmental programs. In order to limit the resultant variation, juvenile organisms buffer variability through homeostatic mechanisms, so that the correct final size is attained. Vallejo et al. report that the Drosophila brain mediates such homeostatic control through an insulin-like peptide Dilp8 that binds to the relaxin hormone receptor Lgr3. Lgr3-positive neurons distribute this information to other neuronal populations to adjust the hormones ecdysone, insulin, and juvenile hormone in a manner that stabilizes body and organ size.

D. M. Vallejo, S. Juarez-Carreño, J. Bolivar, J. Morante, M. Dominguez, A brain circuit that synchronizes growth and maturation revealed through Dilp8 binding to Lgr3. Science 350, aac6767 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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