Development of Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance in Drosophila melanogaster and Characterization of the Anti-Diabetic Effects of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene

(1) St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Ridgeland, Mississippi, (2) University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi

As the prevalence of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has increased, so has the need to further examine the disorder’s underlying features and potential treatment options. The common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has proven to be a convenient model organism to study T2DM, but whether it can serve as a model organism to identify T2DM treatment remains unanswered. To answer this question, we attempted to establish a T2DM model in Drosophila. We induced insulin resistance (IR) in Drosophila through high sucrose diet (HSD) and characterized the therapeutic effects of the polyphenols Resveratrol and Pterostilbene. Drosophila pupation rates were evaluated for signs of developmental delay. Physical activity tests that measured 3rd instar larvae crawling rates were performed. Upon the verification of HSD effects on Drosophila phenotype, assays incorporating the polyphenolic treatment groups were performed. Statistically significant results from the study include a developmental delay, decreased physical activity in HSD larvae, and increased weight and glucose concentration levels in HSD-fed adult Drosophila. Resveratrol and Pterostilbene treatment notably overturned the weight gain and glucose levels, while preliminary results from the real-time PCR and oxidative stress resistance assays were inconclusive. Altogether, the results of this study suggest that Drosophila can be utilized as a model organism to study T2DM and novel T2DM pharmacological treatments.

Download Full Article as PDF
Support JEI!