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J Vis Exp. 2015 Jun 13;(100):e52741. doi: 10.3791/52741.

Quantitative Analysis of Climbing Defects in a Drosophila Model of Neurodegenerative Disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta.
2
Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University.
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta; fbolduc@ualberta.ca.

Abstract

Locomotive defects resulting from neurodegenerative disorders can be a late onset symptom of disease, following years of subclinical degeneration, and thus current therapeutic treatment strategies are not curative. Through the use of whole exome sequencing, an increasing number of genes have been identified to play a role in human locomotion. Despite identifying these genes, it is not known how these genes are crucial to normal locomotive functioning. Therefore, a reliable assay, which utilizes model organisms to elucidate the role of these genes in order to identify novel targets of therapeutic interest, is needed more than ever. We have designed a sensitized version of the negative geotaxis assay that allows for the detection of milder defects earlier and has the ability to evaluate these defects over time. The assay is performed in a glass graduated cylinder, which is sealed with a wax barrier film. By increasing the threshold distance to be climbed to 17.5 cm and increasing the experiment duration to 2 min we have observed a greater sensitivity in detecting mild mobility dysfunctions. The assay is cost effective and does not require extensive training to obtain highly reproducible results. This makes it an excellent technique for screening candidate drugs in Drosophila mutants with locomotion defects.

PMID:
26132637
PMCID:
PMC4544889
DOI:
10.3791/52741
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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