65 research outputs found

    Colorimetric Measurement of Triglycerides Cannot Provide an Accurate Measure of Stored Fat Content in Drosophila

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    Drosophila melanogaster has recently emerged as a useful model system in which to study the genetic basis of regulation of fat storage. One of the most frequently used methods for evaluating the levels of stored fat (triglycerides) in flies is a coupled colorimetric assay available as a kit from several manufacturers. This is an aqueous-based enzymatic assay that is normally used for measurement of mammalian serum triglycerides, which are present in soluble lipoprotein complexes. In this short communication, we show that coupled colorimetric assay kits cannot accurately measure stored triglycerides in Drosophila. First, they fail to give accurate readings when tested on insoluble triglyceride mixtures with compositions like that of stored fat, or on fat extracted from flies with organic solvents. This is probably due to an inability of the lipase used in the kits to efficiently cleave off the glycerol head group from fat molecules in insoluble samples. Second, the measured final products of the kits are quinoneimines, which absorb visible light in the same wavelength range as Drosophila eye pigments. Thus, when extracts from crushed flies are assayed, much of the measured signal is actually due to eye pigments. Finally, the lipoprotein lipases used in colorimetric assays also cleave non-fat glycerides. The glycerol backbones liberated from all classes of glycerides are measured through the remaining reactions in the assay. As a consequence, when these assay kits are used to evaluate tissue extracts, the observed signal actually represents the amount of free glycerols together with all types of glycerides. For these reasons, findings obtained through use of coupled colorimetric assays on Drosophila samples must be interpreted with caution. We also show here that using thin-layer chromatography to measure stored triglycerides in flies eliminates all of these problems

    Peripheral, Central and Behavioral Responses to the Cuticular Pheromone Bouquet in Drosophila melanogaster Males

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    Pheromonal communication is crucial with regard to mate choice in many animals including insects. Drosophila melanogaster flies produce a pheromonal bouquet with many cuticular hydrocarbons some of which diverge between the sexes and differently affect male courtship behavior. Cuticular pheromones have a relatively high weight and are thought to be — mostly but not only — detected by gustatory contact. However, the response of the peripheral and central gustatory systems to these substances remains poorly explored. We measured the effect induced by pheromonal cuticular mixtures on (i) the electrophysiological response of peripheral gustatory receptor neurons, (ii) the calcium variation in brain centers receiving these gustatory inputs and (iii) the behavioral reaction induced in control males and in mutant desat1 males, which show abnormal pheromone production and perception. While male and female pheromones induced inhibitory-like effects on taste receptor neurons, the contact of male pheromones on male fore-tarsi elicits a long-lasting response of higher intensity in the dedicated gustatory brain center. We found that the behavior of control males was more strongly inhibited by male pheromones than by female pheromones, but this difference disappeared in anosmic males. Mutant desat1 males showed an increased sensitivity of their peripheral gustatory neurons to contact pheromones and a behavioral incapacity to discriminate sex pheromones. Together our data indicate that cuticular hydrocarbons induce long-lasting inhibitory effects on the relevant taste pathway which may interact with the olfactory pathway to modulate pheromonal perception

    CRF-Like Diuretic Hormone Negatively Affects Both Feeding and Reproduction in the Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregaria

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    Diuretic hormones (DH) related to the vertebrate Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF) have been identified in diverse insect species. In the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, the CRF-like DH (CRF/DH) is localized in the same neurosecretory cells as the Ovary Maturating Parsin (OMP), a neurohormone that stimulates oocyte growth, vitellogenesis and hemolymph ecdysteroid levels in adult female locusts. In this study, we investigated whether CRF-like DH can influence feeding and reproduction in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. We identified two highly similar S. gregaria CRF-like DH precursor cDNAs, each of which also encodes an OMP isoform. Alignment with other insect CRF-like DH precursors shows relatively high conservation of the CRF/DH sequence while the precursor region corresponding to OMP is not well conserved. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed that the precursor transcripts mainly occur in the central nervous system and their highest expression level was observed in the brain. Injection of locust CRF/DH caused a significantly reduced food intake, while RNAi knockdown stimulated food intake. Therefore, our data indicate that CRF-like DH induces satiety. Furthermore, injection of CRF/DH in adult females retarded oocyte growth and caused lower ecdysteroid titers in hemolymph and ovaries, while RNAi knockdown resulted in opposite effects. The observed effects of CRF/DH may be part of a wider repertoire of neurohormonal activities, constituting an integrating control system that affects food intake and excretion, as well as anabolic processes like oocyte growth and ecdysteroidogenesis, following a meal. Our discussion about the functional relationship between CRF/DH and OMP led to the hypothesis that OMP may possibly act as a monitoring peptide that can elicit negative feedback effects

    Drosophila Lipophorin Receptors Mediate the Uptake of Neutral Lipids in Oocytes and Imaginal Disc Cells by an Endocytosis-Independent Mechanism

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    Lipids are constantly shuttled through the body to redistribute energy and metabolites between sites of absorption, storage, and catabolism in a complex homeostatic equilibrium. In Drosophila, lipids are transported through the hemolymph in the form of lipoprotein particles, known as lipophorins. The mechanisms by which cells interact with circulating lipophorins and acquire their lipidic cargo are poorly understood. We have found that lipophorin receptor 1 and 2 (lpr1 and lpr2), two partially redundant genes belonging to the Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor (LDLR) family, are essential for the efficient uptake and accumulation of neutral lipids by oocytes and cells of the imaginal discs. Females lacking the lpr2 gene lay eggs with low lipid content and have reduced fertility, revealing a central role for lpr2 in mediating Drosophila vitellogenesis. lpr1 and lpr2 are transcribed into multiple isoforms. Interestingly, only a subset of these isoforms containing a particular LDLR type A module mediate neutral lipid uptake. Expression of these isoforms induces the extracellular stabilization of lipophorins. Furthermore, our data indicate that endocytosis of the lipophorin receptors is not required to mediate the uptake of neutral lipids. These findings suggest a model where lipophorin receptors promote the extracellular lipolysis of lipophorins. This model is reminiscent of the lipolytic processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins that occurs at the mammalian capillary endothelium, suggesting an ancient role for LDLR–like proteins in this process

    Observation of four top quark production in proton-proton collisions at √s = 13 TeV

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    Search for a high-mass dimuon resonance produced in association with b quark jets at s \sqrt{s} = 13 TeV