Do fruit flies suffer from Parkinson’s? Not exactly. But patients who suffer from this neurological disease experience disturbed sleep patterns long before motor dysfunctions. This can be modelled in fruit flies. Researchers from the Netherlands and Germany showed that excessive contacts between mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum in Parkinson’s flies lead to abnormal lipid trafficking. This prevents the release of “sleep” neuropeptides, which affects sleep patterns.
Lipotype performed lipid analysis on fruit fly heads and various organelles. The results clearly supported the researchers’ hypothesis: in Parkinson’s fruit flies the lipid PtdSer is transferred from the endoplasmic reticulum to the mitochondria, and converted to PtdEtn at a higher rate, when compared with healthy flies. This was proven through Lipotype Shotgun Lipidomics technology.
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