The Effects of Acetaminophen on DAT and LRRK2 Gene Expression and Geotaxis, Phototaxis and Mating Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster

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Authors
Goulet, Elaina
Cabezas, Alexis
Advisor
Otto-Hitt, Stefanie
Editor
Date of Issue
2023-04-28
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Citation
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Title
The Effects of Acetaminophen on DAT and LRRK2 Gene Expression and Geotaxis, Phototaxis and Mating Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster
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Presentation
Description
Abstract
Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is a widely used analgesic that acts as a pain reliever. In the United States alone, over 60 million doses of acetaminophen are consumed on a weekly basis (Bohler et al., 2019). Despite its frequent use, the adverse effects of consuming high levels of acetaminophen are not well-known. Previous studies have shown that there is a correlation between individuals that consume high levels of acetaminophen and their predisposition to the development of Parkinson’s Disease (Bohler et al., 2019). The goal of this study was to explore the effects of high doses of acetaminophen on expression of the Parkinson’s Disease-related LRRK2 and DAT genes, as well as the motor function, light sensitivity, and reproductive rates of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. We hypothesized that high levels of acetaminophen would increase expression of LRRK2 and DAT, while decreasing motor function, light sensitivity and reproductive rates in the flies. To test this hypothesis, an acetaminophen concentration of 0.018mg/1mL was prepared in water and ethanol and was added to the culturing media of the experimental group, while the control group media received only water and ethanol. Following the treatment period, D. melanogaster were subjected to RT-qPCR to measure expression of LRRK2 and DAT, as well as behavioral assays including geotaxis, phototaxis, and mating. The results showed there was a significant increase in expression of the LRRK2 and DAT genes; however there was not a significant difference in the geotaxis, phototaxis, or mating behaviors.
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Semester
Spring
Department
Biology