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Analysis of Biogenic Amines in a Single Drosophila Larva Brain by Capillary Electrophoresis with Fast-Scan Cyclic Voltammetry Detection

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journal contribution
posted on 15.03.2011, 00:00 by Huaifang Fang, Trisha L. Vickrey, B. Jill Venton
Drosophila, the fruit fly, is a common model organ-ism in biology; however, quantifying neurotransmitters in Drosophila is challenging because of the small size of the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we develop neurotransmitter quantification by capillary electrophoresis with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (CE−FSCV) detection, which allows peak identification by both migration time and the cyclic voltammogram, in contrast to traditional amperometric detection which provides no chemical identification. Tissue content of biogenic amine neurotransmitters was determined in a single CNS dissected from a Drosophila larva. Low detection limits, 1 nM for dopamine and serotonin, 2.5 nM for tyramine, and 4 nM for octopamine, were achieved using field-amplified sample stacking by diluting the homogenized tissue with percholoric acid and acetonitrile. Two different strains of wild-type flies, Oregon R and Canton S, have similar dopamine and serotonin levels but different octopamine content. When flies are fed NSD-1015, which inhibits dopamine decarboxylase (Ddc) a synthesis enzyme in the dopamine and serotonin pathways, dopamine significantly decreases by 52%. A genetically altered driver line, Ddc-GAL4, had lower serotonin and dopamine content as did w118 flies. When the Ddc-GAL4 line was used to produce flies overexpressing the serotonin synthesis enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase (Ddc-GAL4;UAS-Trh), the serotonin tissue content was greater than for Ddc-GAL4 but not significantly different than the wild-type. These results show that CE−FSCV is useful for monitoring the impact of genetic and pharmacological manipulations on the content of multiple neurotransmitters in a CNS from a Drosophila larva.