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Drosophila melanogaster as a model system of aluminum toxicity and aging

Kijak, Ewelina, Rosato, Ezio, Knapczyk, Katarzyna, Pyza, Elżbieta
Insect science 2014 v.21 no.2 pp. 189-202
Drosophila melanogaster, aluminum, circadian rhythm, exposure duration, fruit flies, larval development, locomotion, longevity, males, toxicity
The aim of this study was to investigate the toxic effects of aluminum (Al) on the model organism–Drosophila melanogaster. The study is especially concerned with the effects of aluminum on the fruit fly's development, life span, and circadian rhythm in rest and activity. Flies were exposed to aluminum in concentrations from 40 to 280 mg/kg in rearing media or the flies were raised on control medium. Moreover, the life span of insects exposed to aluminum containing 40, 120, or 240 mg/kg of Al in the medium, only during their larval development, during the whole life cycle and only in their adult life was tested. To check if aluminum and aging cause changes in D. melanogaster behavior, the locomotor activity of flies at different ages was recorded. Results showed that aluminum is toxic in concentrations above 160 mg/kg in the rearing medium. Depending on Al concentration and time of exposure, the life span of the flies was shortened. At intermediate concentrations (120 mg/kg), however, Al had a stimulating effect on males increasing their life span and level of locomotor activity. At higher concentration the aluminum exposure increased or decreased the level of locomotor activity of D. melanogaster depending on age of flies. In addition, in the oldest insects reared on aluminum supplemented media and in mid‐aged flies reared on the highest concentration of Al the daily rhythm of activity was disrupted.