Our research focus is on understanding how the function of neuroactive molecules regulates behaviour and physiology of organisms.
We center our research on the biogenic amine Octopamine, an insect neurotransmitter and neurohormone that combines many of the roles of noradrenaline and adrenaline in vertebrates. Through the molecular genetic analysis of gene s involved in Octopamine biosynthesis, we examine its requirement in different physiological processes of the fruitfly while we map the Octopamine-producing cell populations that are involved in the respective neuronal networks. Octopamine deficient flies exhibit multiple phenotypes related to defects in memory, stress reactivity, ovulation and others.
We concentrate on the egg retention deficit and we work towards identifying regulators of Octopamine biosynthesis and secretion as well as interacting intrinsic/extrinsic factors regulating female fecundity. In parallel, we study the Octopamine system in insects of agricultural/medical interest focusing on its essential role in the reproductive process and we explore the potential of the system in pest management.
A second focus of our studies is to investigate the role of Octopamine in metabolic processes and in stress response as well as its putative interactions with neuroendocrine pathways that modulate lifespan and reproduction.
Monastirioti M, Giagtzoglou N, Koumbanakis KA, Zacharioudaki E, Deligiannaki M, Wech I, Almeida M, Preiss A, Bray S, Delidakis C. (2010) Drosophila Hey is a target of Notch in asymmetric divisions during embryonic and larval neurogenesis. Development 137:191-201.
Gruntenko NE, Chentsova NA, Bogomolova EV, Karpova EK, Glazko GV, Faddeeva NV, Monastirioti M, Rauschenbach I Yu. (2004) The effect of mutations altering biogenic amine metabolism in Drosophila on viability and the response to heat stress. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 5:555-67.
Monastirioti M. (2003) Distinct octopamine cell population residing in the CNS abdominal ganglion controls ovulation in Drosophila melanogaster. Developmental Biology 264:38-49.
Schwaerzel M, Monastirioti M, Scholz H, Friggi-Grelin F, Birman S, Heisenberg M. (2003) Dopamine and octopamine differentiate between aversive and appetitive olfactory memories in Drosophila. Journal of Neuroscience 23:10495-502.
Gruntenko NE, Wilson TG, Monastirioti M. Rauschenbach I Yu. (2000) Stress reactivity and juvenile hormone degradation in Drosophila melanogaster stress related mutations. Insect Biochem. & Mol.Biol. 30:775-783.
Monastirioti M., Gorczyca M., Eckert M., Rapus J.,White K. and V. Budnik. (1995) Octopamine Immunoreactivity in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster . Journal of Comparative Neurology 356: 275-287.
Linn C. E, M. Monastirioti and K. White. (1995) Comparison of biogenic amine levels in the nervous system of Drosophila: Wild type vs. a mutant for tyramine -hydroxylase. Abstr, Soc. Neurosc. 21: 631.
Monastirioti M., Linn C. E and K. White. (1996) Characterization of Drosophila Tyramine hydroxylase gene and isolation of mutant flies lacking octopamine. Journal of Neuroscience 16, 3900-3911.
Monastirioti M. (1999) Biogenic Amine systems in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Microscopy Research and Techniques, 45, 106-121.
Gruntenko N. E., Wilson T. G., Monastirioti M. and I. Yu. Rauschenbach. (2000) Stress reactivity and juvenile hormone degradation in Drosophila melanogaster stress related mutations. Insect Biochem. & Mol.Biol., 30(8-9),775-783.
Monastirioti M. (2003) Distinct octopamine cell population residing in the CNS abdominal ganglion controls ovulation in Drosophila melanogaster. Developmental Biology 264,38-49.
Schwaerzel M.,Monastirioti M., Scholz H., Friggi-Grelin F., Birman S. and M. Heisenberg. (2003) Dopamine and octopamine differentiate between aversive and appetitive olfactory memories in Drosophila. Journal of Neuroscience 23(33)10495-10502.
Gruntenko N.E., Chentsova N.A., Bogomolova E.V., Karpova E.K., Glazko G.V., Faddeeva N.V., Monastirioti M., and I.Yu Rauschenbach. (2004) The effect of mutations altering biogenic amine metabolism in Drosophila on viability and the response to heat stress. Arch. Insect Biochem.Physiol. 5, 555-67.
Monastirioti M., Giagtzoglou N., Koumbanakis K.A., Zacharioudaki E., Deligiannaki M., Wech I., Almeida M., Preiss A., Bray S., Delidakis C. (2010) Drosophila Hey is a target of Notch in asymmetric divisions during embryonic and larval neurogenesis, Development, 137(2): 191-201
Pavlidi N, Monastirioti M., Daborn P., Livadaras I., Van Leeuwen T., Vontas J. (2012) Transgenic expression of the Aedes aegypti CYP9J28 confers pyrethroid resistance in Drosophila melanogaster. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 104 (2):132-135
Homberg U., Seyfarth J., Binkle U., Monastirioti M., Alkema M.J. (2013) Identification of distinct tyraminergic and octopaminergic neurons innervating the central complex of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 521(9):2025-2041
Delidakis C., Monastirioti M., Magadi S.S. (2014) E(spl): genetic, developmental, and evolutionary aspects of a group of invertebrate Hes proteins with close ties to Notch signaling. Curr Top Dev Biol 110(): 217-62