ASGSB 2003 Annual Meeting Abstracts
LINKING GENE EXPRESSION CHANGES TO ALTERED BEHAVIOR IN HYPERGRAVITY FOR
Bhattacharya, 1M.E. Sanchez, 1T.F. Fahlen, 1R.S.
Stowers. 1NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.
(fruit fly) is a well-characterized model organism with molecular systems
comparable to mammalian systems including humans. We have observed behavioral
changes in D. melanogaster following exposure to hypergravity.
Young male flies were exposed to different levels
of gravity by centrifugation at the Ames Centrifuge Facilities. Compared to
non-centrifuged controls, the animals showed an altered behavior pattern
during the centrifugation period. Our data show that the activity level of the
flies decreases drastically during the early period of centrifugation and
subsequently return to more normal levels several hours later. It is
interesting then, that after an initial period of quiescence, the fly is able
to compensate for the change in gravity environment by resuming normal
activity. In order to understand the molecular and cellular basis of these
observed behavioral compensations, we conducted gene expression analyses with
microarrays. Our initial results implicate a subset of Drosophila
genes that may be responsible for triggering a signal transduction cascade in
the brain of the fly resulting in altered activity levels as a response to
increased gravity. Genetic tools have also allowed us to explore the
specificity of this response in different regions of the brain.
(Supported by NASA: Space Station Biological Research Projects, and NASA
121-10-50 for Hypergravity Research Project)
Back to Meeting Program