Body temperature homeostasis is essential and reliant upon the integration of outputs from multiple classes of coolingand warming-responsive cells. The computations that integrate these outputs are not understood. Here, we discover a set of warming cells (WCs) and show that the outputs of these WCs combine with previously described cooling cells (CCs) in a cross-inhibition computation to drive thermal homeostasis in larval Drosophila. WCs and CCs detect temperature changes using overlapping combinations of ionotropic receptors: Ir68a, Ir93a, and Ir25a for WCs and Ir21a, Ir93a, and Ir25a for CCs. WCs mediate avoidance to warming while cross-inhibiting avoidance to cooling, and CCs mediate avoidance to cooling while cross-inhibiting avoidance to warming. Ambient temperature-dependent regulation of the strength of WC- and CC-mediated cross-inhibition keeps larvae near their homeostatic set point. Using neurophysiology, quantitative behavioral analysis, and connectomics, we demonstrate how flexible integration between warming and cooling pathways can orchestrate homeostatic thermoregulation.
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