Drosophila as an Animal Model for Stress Resilience and Subject for Dietary Supplements
Goal 1: Testing dietary supplements, known for instance from traditional Asian medicine, for their effectiveness in helping to cope with various forms of stress. Which parts of the plant and which formulation are effective? Under which concentration does behavior stay normal? Are there beneficial or negative side effects on learning and memory, or longevity?
Goal 2: Finding the pure, active substance(s). Identifying the mechanism of action with the help of the neurogenetic tools available in Drosophila.
Natural products like Centella asiatica and, alternatively, the pure mono-caffeoylquinic acids contained in the plant, can make flies resilient to various forms of stress. When supplemented in the food, stressed flies stay optimistic in gap climbing and hedonistic when encountering sugar solution. Figure: Helen Holvoet
H. Holvoet et al., Chlorogenic acids, acting via calcineurin, are the main compounds in Centella asiatica extracts that mediate resilience to chronic stress in Drosophila melanogaster, Nutrients, 16. September 2023, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15184016.
H. Holvoet et al., Withania somnifera extracts promote resilience against age-related and stress-induced behavioral phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster; a possible role of other compounds besides withanolides, Nutrients, 22. Sept. 2022, https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu14193923