About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Fruit Flies Unleash Surprising New Evolutionary Link for Studying Human Health

by Krishna Bora on September 16, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Font : A-A+

 Fruit Flies Unleash Surprising New Evolutionary Link for Studying Human Health

New research shows that fruit flies and mammals may share a surprising evolutionary link in how they control body temperature through circadian rhythm, unlocking new ways to study the insects as models of human development and disease.

The study posted online Sept. 13 by Current Biology reports that similar to people, Drosophila fruit flies - a common research tool in life sciences - have a genetically driven internal clock. This circadian clock prompts the insects to seek out warmer or cooler external temperatures according to the time of the day. Cold-blooded creatures change behavior to alter body temperature, usually by seeking out different external temperatures. But fruit flies are the first cold-blooded species to demonstrate their modification of temperature preference behavior is controlled by a circadian clock.

Advertisement

"We show that Drosophila fruit flies exhibit a daily temperature preference rhythm that is low in the morning, high in the evening and that follows a similar pattern as body temperature rhythms in humans," said Fumika N. Hamada, PhD, principal investigator and a researcher in the Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "This study also reports the first systematic analysis of the molecular and neural mechanisms underlying temperature preference rhythm in fruit flies."

The research is important to understanding how regulation of daily body temperature is linked to homeostasis - the body's ability to maintain a stable internal environment while exposed to changes in the external environment. Failure to manage related stress and maintain homeostasis can lead to abnormal function and disease, Hamada said.
Advertisement

The circadian clock's internal control of body temperature rhythm in warm-blooded mammals, including humans, allows them to maintain homeostasis by regulating sleep and metabolic energy use. The study by Hamada and colleagues is the first to demonstrate that fruit flies have a similar circadian clock system for temperature control, although one more influenced by external temperatures than for mammals. It also is the first to show that Drosophila's behavior modification to adjust body temperature is not controlled by a subset of pacemaker neurons in the brain responsible for locomotor activity.

By subjecting a variety of genetically altered flies to different degrees of light and darkness and then analyzing the insect's brains, the scientists identified a pacemaker neuron in the dorsal region of the fruit fly brain called DN2 that controls the bug's temperature preference rhythm. The function of this neural circuit had previously been unknown, the researchers said.

Hamada said continued study of the newly discovered circadian clock for Drosophila temperature preference rhythm may help explain mechanisms that underlie body temperature control in animals. It also could provide a better understanding of circadian rhythm's changeability from external influences.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
COVID Toes
International Yoga Day 2022 - 'Yoga for Humanity'
Wearable Devices Are Now Transforming Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, and Epilepsy Management.
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease The Acid-Alkaline balance, Diet and Health Nails - Health and Disease Fruits to Help Lower Blood Pressure Health benefits of bananas Fruitarian Diet Health Benefits of Rambutan Health Benefits of Chikoo 

Most Popular on Medindia

Iron Intake Calculator Accident and Trauma Care Blood Pressure Calculator Daily Calorie Requirements A-Z Drug Brands in India Diaphragmatic Hernia Sanatogen Indian Medical Journals Find a Doctor Drug Side Effects Calculator

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE