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1.  Hypoxia modifies the feeding preferences of Drosophila. Consequences for diet dependent hypoxic survival 
BMC Physiology  2010;10:8.
Recent attention has been given to the relationships between diet, longevity, aging and resistance to various forms of stress. Flies do not simply ingest calories. They sense different concentrations of carbohydrate and protein macronutrients and they modify their feeding behavior in response to changes in dietary conditions. Chronic hypoxia is a major consequence of cardiovascular diseases. Dietary proteins have recently been shown to decrease the survival of chronically hypoxic Drosophila. Whether flies modify their feeding behavior in response to hypoxia is not currently known. This study uses the recently developed capillary feeding assay to analyze the feeding behavior of normoxic and chronically hypoxic Drosophila melanogaster.
The intakes rates of sucrose and yeast by normoxic or chronically hypoxic flies (5% O2) were analyzed under self selecting and "no choice" conditions. Chronically hypoxic flies fed on pure yeast diets or mixed diets under self selection conditions stopped feeding on yeast. Flies fed on mixed diets under "no choice" conditions reduced their food intakes. Hypoxia did not modify the adaptation of flies to diluted diets or to imbalanced diets. Mortality was assessed in parallel experiments. Dietary yeast had two distinct effects on hypoxic flies (i) a repellent action which eventually led to starvation and which was best observed in the absence of dietary sucrose and (ii) a toxic action which led to premature death. Finally we determined that hypoxic survivals were correlated to the intakes of sucrose, which suggested that dietary yeast killed flies by reducing their intake of sucrose. The feeding preferences of adult Drosophila were insensitive to NO scavengers, NO donor molecules and inhibitors of phosphodiesterases which are active on Drosophila larvae.
Chronically hypoxic flies modify their feeding behavior. They avoid dietary yeast which appears to be toxic. Hypoxic survival is dependent on a source of exogenous sucrose. Ultimately, dietary yeast reduces hypoxic survival by reducing the intake of sucrose. The results highlight the importance of behavioral mechanisms in the responses of Drosophila to chronic hypoxic conditions.
PMCID: PMC2877658  PMID: 20465825
2.  The role of polyamines in protein-dependent hypoxic tolerance of Drosophila 
BMC Physiology  2008;8:22.
Chronic hypoxia is a major component of ischemic diseases such as stroke or myocardial infarction. Drosophila is more tolerant to hypoxia than most mammalian species. It is considered as a useful model organism to identify new mechanisms of hypoxic tolerance. The hypoxic tolerance of flies has previously been reported to be enhanced by low protein diets. This study analyses the mechanisms involved.
Feeding adult Drosophila on a yeast diet dramatically reduced their longevities under chronic hypoxic conditions (5% O2). Mean and maximum longevities became close to the values observed for starving flies. The action of dietary yeast was mimicked by a whole casein hydrolysate and by anyone of the 20 natural amino acids that compose proteins. It was mimicked by amino acid intermediates of the urea cycle such as L-citrulline and L-ornithine, and by polyamines (putrescine, spermidine and spermine). ╬▒-difluoromethylornithine, a specific inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, partially protected hypoxic flies from amino acid toxicity but not from polyamine toxicity. N1-guanyl-1,7 diaminoheptane, a specific inhibitor of eIF5A hypusination, partially relieved the toxicities of both amino acids and polyamines.
Dietary amino acids reduced the longevity of chronically hypoxic flies fed on a sucrose diet. Pharmacological evidence suggests that the synthesis of polyamines and the hypusination of eIF5A contributed to the life-shortening effect of dietary amino acids.
PMCID: PMC2613936  PMID: 19055734

Results 1-2 (2)