A Blueberry Extract Supplemented Diet Partially Restores α-Synuclein-Dependent Lifespan Loss and Developmental Defects in Drosophila


Oxidative stress has been strongly associated with Parkinson disease (PD) aetiology. We investigated the effects of blueberry extract (BBE) supplementation on α-synuclein induced phenotypes in a Drosophila melanogaster model of PD. Enhanced α-synuclein expression in D. melanogaster dopaminergic (DA) neurons can reduce lifespan and we have performed longevity assays to measure the effects of BBE on D. melanogaster survival. Flies expressing α-synuclein in their DA neurons fed BBE had up to an 8 day, or 15%, greater median lifespan than those fed a standard control diet. In addition, BBE improved α-synuclein-induced developmental defects in the Drosophila eye. Our biometric analyses revealed that individuals fed BBE had less atypical ommatidia as well as an increased number of mechanosensory bristle cells than those fed a control diet. We propose that BBE, rich in naturally occurring antioxidants, promotes the survival of neurons in tissues with increased levels of α-synuclein through a protective cell survival mechanism.

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Lipsett, D. and Staveley, B. (2014) A Blueberry Extract Supplemented Diet Partially Restores α-Synuclein-Dependent Lifespan Loss and Developmental Defects in Drosophila. Advances in Parkinson's Disease, 3, 3-9. doi: 10.4236/apd.2014.32002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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