Methods to Characterize Spontaneous and Startle-induced Locomotion in a Rotenone-induced Parkinson's Disease Model of Drosophila.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

PubMedID: 25178101

Liao J, Morin LW, Ahmad ST. Methods to Characterize Spontaneous and Startle-induced Locomotion in a Rotenone-induced Parkinson's Disease Model of Drosophila. J Vis Exp. 2014;(90):.
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that results from the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the central nervous system, primarily in the substantia nigra. The disease causes motor deficiencies, which present as rigidity, tremors and dementia in humans. Rotenone is an insecticide that causes oxidative damage by inhibiting the function of the electron transport chain in mitochondria. It is also used to model Parkinson's disease in the Drosophila. Flies have an inherent negative geotactic response, which compels them to climb upwards upon being startled. It has been established that rotenone causes early mortality and locomotion defects that disrupt the flies' ability to climb after they have been tapped downwards. However, the effect of rotenone on spontaneous movement is not well documented. This study outlines two sensitive, reproducible, and high throughput assays to characterize rotenone-induced deficiencies in short-term startle-induced locomotion and long-term spontaneous locomotion in Drosophila. These assays can be conveniently adapted to characterize other Drosophila models of locomotion defects and efficacy of therapeutic agents.