Male-female communication enhances release of extracellular vesicles leading to high fertility in Drosophila

Javier Arturo Sanchez-Lopez, Shai Twena, Ido Apel, Shani Chen Kornhaeuser, Michael Chasnitsky, Andras G. Miklosi, Perla J. Vega-Dominguez, Alex Shephard, Amir Hefetz, Yael Heifetz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The female reproductive tract (female-RT) must decipher the repertoire of molecular cues received from the male during copulation in order to activate and coordinate tract functionality necessary for high fertility. In Drosophila, this modulation is partially driven by spermathecal secretory cells (SSC). The SSC are a layer of cuboidal secretory glandular cells surrounding the spermatheca capsule where sperm is stored. It is unclear, however, how the SSC regulate the system’s activity. Here we show that mating activates the secretory machinery of the SSC. The SSC release a heterogeneous population of extracellular vesicles (EVs) which is involved in initiating and managing the increase in egg-laying, and possibly sperm storage. Moreover, sperm and male accessory gland proteins are essential for such mating-mediated SSC activity. Thus, mating regulates secretory/endocytic pathways required for trafficking of vesicles to SSC-female-RT target sites, which modulate and coordinate reproductive tract activity to achieve high fertility.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number815
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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