Friday, March 24, 2017

Aggression among flies as a model behavior for studies related to human neurological disorders

Zwarts L, Vulsteke V, Buhl E, Hodge JJ, Callaerts P. SlgA, the homologue of the human schizophrenia associated PRODH gene, acts in clock neurons to regulate Drosophila aggression. Dis Model Mech. 2017 Mar 22. pii: dmm.027151. PMID: 28331058.

From the abstract: "Mutations in proline dehydrogenase (PRODH) are linked to behavioral alterations in schizophrenia ... We here establish a Drosophila model to study the role of PRODH in behavioral disorders. We ... show that knock-down and overexpression of human PRODH and slgA in the lateral neurons ventral (LNv) lead to altered aggressive behavior. SlgA acts in an isoform-specific manner and is regulated by casein kinase II (CkII). Our data suggest that these effects are, at least partially, due to effects on mitochondrial function. We thus show that precise regulation of proline metabolism is essential to drive normal behavior and we identify Drosophila aggression as a model behavior relevant for the study of mechanisms impaired in neuropsychiatric disorders."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Study of Ets96B/ETV5 connects obesity and bipolar disorder at a molecular level

Williams MJ, Klockars A, Eriksson A, Voisin S, Dnyansagar R, Wiemerslage L, Kasagiannis A, Akram M, Kheder S, Ambrosi V, Hallqvist E, Fredriksson R, Schiöth HB. The Drosophila ETV5 Homologue Ets96B: Molecular Link between Obesity and Bipolar Disorder. PLoS Genet. 2016 Jun 9;12(6):e1006104. PubMed PMID: 27280443; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4900636.

From the abstract: "Several reports suggest obesity and bipolar disorder (BD) share some physiological and behavioural similarities. ... Here we demonstrate, using whole transcriptome analysis, that Drosophila Ets96B, homologue of obesity-linked gene ETV5, regulates cellular systems associated with obesity and BD. Consistent with a role in obesity and BD, loss of nervous system Ets96B during development increases triacylglyceride concentration, while inducing a heightened startle-response, as well as increasing hyperactivity and reducing sleep. Of notable interest, mouse Etv5 and Drosophila Ets96B are expressed in dopaminergic-rich regions, and loss of Ets96B specifically in dopaminergic neurons recapitulates the metabolic and behavioural phenotypes. Moreover, our data indicate Ets96B inhibits dopaminergic-specific neuroprotective systems. Additionally, we reveal that multiple SNPs in human ETV5 link to body mass index (BMI) and BD, providing further evidence for ETV5 as an important and novel molecular intermediate between obesity and BD. ... a connection between the obesity-linked gene ETV5 and bipolar disorder emphasizes a functional relationship between obesity and BD at the molecular level."

Review article addresses the question, Can flies help us find plant-based medicines?

Panchal K, Tiwari AK. Drosophila melanogaster "a potential model organism" for identification of pharmacological properties of plants/plant-derived components. Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Mar 18;89:1331-1345. PubMed PMID: 28320100.

From the abstract: "Plants/plant-derived components have been used from ancient times to treat/cure several human diseases. ... long time consumption cause serious health concerns such as hyperallergic reactions, liver damage, etc. ... The current review focuses on the potential of Drosophila melanogaster for the identification of medicinal/pharmacological properties associated with plants/plant-derived components."