The effect of BhB on severe TBI in Drosophila Melanogaster



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Today, there are very few treatment measures for long-term brain injury, leaving it to be one of the leading causes of death. Autophagy is a natural process that degrades old cellular components to recycle amino acids and proteins to support the synthesis of new cellular structures in a turnover of cytoplasm. In autophagy, cytosolic vesicles fuse with a lysosome to turn over cytoplasmic contents for reuse. Autophagy has been linked to increased immune defense, tumor suppression, apoptosis, and the prevention of neuronal degeneration, leading many to explore the psychopharmacological benefits it may have for brain injury. In Drosophila, autophagy is regulated in part by the Atg8a protein. The ketogenic diet and ketone body supplementation have been known to increase rates of autophagy. For this experiment, I inflicted traumatic brain injury on Drosophila fed on both a ketone-supplemented diet and a control diet. I hypothesized that Drosophila raised on a diet with ketone body supplementation will exhibit a higher rate of autophagy than Drosophila raised on control food. To achieve traumatic brain injury, the flies are put in a “High Impact Trauma” (HIT) device. Drosophila were then returned to control or ketone-supplemented food for 72, 24, or 6 hours. Then, their CNS was dissected for analysis in two ways. First, I used a Western Blot approach to quantify autophagy via the ratio of lipidated to unlipidated Atg8a protein. Confocal microscopy was also used for analyzation. Images from the confocal microscope were analyzed quantitatively with Image J. After analyses, I saw that there was a suggested difference between the sample groups, and the there was a lower rate of autophagy in flies raised on a BHB supplemented diet and remained on a BHB supplemented diet post TBI than flies raised on a control diet and remained on a control diet post TBI.



Neuro, Drosophila Melanogaster, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Autophagy, Ketone Body Supplementation, Ketogenic Diet, Β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)