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Drosophila melanogaster; Halothane; Anesthesia; Lipid membranes--Effect of drugs on


Drosophila melanogaster is increasingly used as a model system for anesthesia studies. Lipids may play a role in anesthetic resistance by sequestering the hydrophobic anesthetics from nervous tissue. Alternatively, changes in membrane lipid composition (phospholipids and/or cholesterols) may contribute to resistance through alteration of neurological membranes. This project studied the relationship of lipids to anesthetic resistance in a strain of Drosophilia melanogasier with a high level of halothane resistance produced by 13 generations of mass selection. The estimated dose of anesthetic needed to produce anesthesia in one-half of the flies tested (ED50( for this strain was 2.3 times that of the unselected control. Total lipids were extracted and the concentration of total lipids was determined. The average percent of total lipids +/- standard error found in D. melanogaster was 8.73% +/- 0.08 for the resistant strain and 7.57% +/- 0.03 for the control, a relative increase of 15.3%. After determining that the total lipid content was greater in the resistant population (p=0.0004), the fatty acids of the phospholipids were analyzed. The purpose of this study was to determine if alterations in fatty acids were associated with the increase in anesthetic resistance, as predicted by the fluidization hypothesis. Gas chromatography was used to analyze the percentage of saturated fatty acids in phospholipids. Both populations had the same mean normalized percent of saturated fatty acids. This result did not support the hypothesis that resistance was due to altered phospholipid fatty acids.

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