Recent studies suggest that human neuropeptide Y (NPY) plays a prominent role in management of stress response and emotion, and higher NPY levels observed in combat-exposed veterans may help coping with posttraumatic stress. Neuropeptide F (NPF), the counterpart of NPY in Drosophila melanogaster, also displays parallel activities, including promotion of resilience to diverse stressors and prevention of uncontrolled aggressive behavior. However, it remains unclear how NPY family peptides modulate physical and emotional responses to various stressors. Here we show that NPFR1, a G-protein-coupled NPF receptor, exerts an inhibitory effect on larval aversion to diverse stressful stimuli mediated by different subtypes of fly and mammalian transient receptor potential (TRP) family channels. Imaging analysis in larval sensory neurons and cultured human cells showed that NPFR1 attenuates Ca2+ influx mediated by fly TRPA and rat TRPV1 channels. Our findings suggest that suppression of TRP channel-mediated neural excitation by the conserved NPF/NPFR1 system may be a major mechanism for attaining its broad anti-stress function.
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