Effects of E-Cigarette Vapor on Dalpha7 Gene Expression in Adult Drosophila melanogaster
While it is commonly known that there are many negative effects of nicotine on humans, the effects of nicotine specifically from vapor produced by Electric Cigarettes (E-Cigarettes), have not yet been determined. In this study, students test to see if a gene specifically related to nicotine addiction in both fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and humans is expressed upon exposure to E-Cigarette vapor. Furthermore, students will test to determine if exposure to E-Cigarette vapor has a deleterious effect on the motor function of flies; as similar studies using nicotine alone have concluded. In this study, students will focus on the expression of Dalpha7, a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the nervous system in both fruit flies and humans. In the experiment, the motor function of flies exposed to nicotine containing E-Cigarette vapor will be monitored every three hours for four days to best recreate the environment of someone who vapes regularly. A control group of flies will go through the same conditions without the exposure of the nicotine containing E-Cigarette vapor. After being exposed for 4 days, both the treatment group and control group will go through a negative iterative geotaxis assay (crawling assay) to test their motor function. The groups will then be taken and used to run reverse transcription and quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction, to analyze the expression of Dalpha7. Researchers predict that there will be an increase in Dalpha7 in the experimental group and a decrease in motor function for the group treated with the E-Cigarette vapor.