A novel, sensitive assay for behavioral defects in Parkinsons disease model drosophila

Ronit Shaltiel-Karyo, Dan Davidi, Yotam Menuchin, Moran Frenkel-Pinter, Mira Marcus-Kalish, John Ringo, Ehud Gazit*, Daniel Segal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parkinsons disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder with the pathology of α-synuclein aggregation in Lewy bodies. Currently, there is no available therapy that arrests the progression of the disease. Therefore, the need of animal models to follow α-synuclein aggregation is crucial. Drosophila melanogaster has been researched extensively as a good genetic model for the disease, with a cognitive phenotype of defective climbing ability. The assay for climbing ability has been demonstrated as an effective tool for screening new therapeutic agents for Parkinsons disease. However, due to the assays many limitations, there is a clear need to develop a better behavioral test. Courtship, a stereotyped, ritualized behavior of Drosophila, involves complex motor and sensory functions in both sexes, which are controlled by large number of neurons; hence, behavior observed during courtship should be sensitive to disease processes in the nervous system. We used a series of traits commonly observed in courtship and an additional behavioral trait-nonsexual encounters-and analyzed them using a data mining tool. We found defective behavior of the Parkinsons model male flies that were tested with virgin females, visible at a much younger age than the climbing defects. We conclude that this is an improved behavioral assay for Parkinsons model flies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number697564
JournalParkinson's Disease
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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