Increased Dopamine Level Enhances Male–Male Courtship in Drosophila
Sexual behavior between males is observed in many species, but the biological factors involved are poorly known. In mammals, manipulation of dopamine has revealed the role of this neuromodulator on male sexual behavior. We used genetic and pharmacological approaches to manipulate the dopamine level in dopaminergic cells in Drosophila and investigated the consequence of this manipulation on male–male courtship behavior. Males with increased dopamine level showed enhanced propensity to court other males but did not change their courtship toward virgin females, general olfactory response, general gustatory response, or locomotor activity. Our results indicate that the high intensity of male–male interaction shown by these manipulated males was related to their altered sensory perception of other males.