The resistance of courtship behavior and communicative sound production to heat shock (37°C, 30 min) was studied in wild-type Canton S (CS) male Drosophila melanogaster and males of two strains with defects in the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism (KPTM) caused by mutations cinnabar (block at the level of kynurenine-3-hydroxylase leading to accumulation of kynurenic acid, a neuroprotective metabolite, in the brain) and cardinal (block at the level of phenoxazinone synthetase causing accumulation of 3-hydroxykynurenine, an oxidative stress generator, in the brain). Males of each strain were divided into four groups. Males from control groups were not exposed to heat shock. The other groups were exposed to heat shock at the late embryonic/early larval (the first instar) developmental stage, when mushroom bodies are formed (HS1 groups); at the prepupal stage, when the brain central complex develops (HS2 groups); or at the imago stage 1 h before the experiment (HS groups). All males were tested at an age of five days. Virgin and fertilized five-day-old CS females served as courtship objects. The courtship behavior and singing of control CS and cinnabar males were similar. Control cardinal males also had high motivation, but their courtship efficiency was lower because of less precise movements (wing vibration was often not accompanied by sound production) and hyperexcitability. Exposure of first-instar larvae to heat shock had almost no effect on behavior or singing of adult males of any strain. In cardinal males exposed to heat shock at the prepupal stage or, especially, at the imago stage 1 h before the test (the HS2 and HS groups), courtship was strongly impaired, and various distortions appeared in their sound signals, which indicated disturbance of coordination between elements of the song center and their interaction with pacemakers. These effects were much milder or absent altogether in HS2 and HS wild-type males and, especially, cinnabar males. Thus, permanent excess of 3-hydroxykynurenine in the male brain dramatically decreased their stress resistance. In contrast, excess of kynurenic acid alleviated the consequences of stress.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 25, 2008
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