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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101108

Methylmercury Exposure Induces Sexual Dysfunction in Male and Female Drosophila Melanogaster

New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, 1050 Forest Hill Road, Staten Island, NY 10314, USA
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Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 24 September 2017
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Abstract

Mercury, an environmental health hazard, is a neurotoxic heavy metal. In this study, the effect of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure was analyzed on sexual behavior in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly), because neurons play a vital role in sexual functions. The virgin male and female flies were fed a diet mixed with different concentrations of MeHg (28.25, 56.5, 113, 226, and 339 µM) for four days, and the effect of MeHg on copulation of these flies was studied. While male and female control flies (no MeHg) and flies fed with lower concentrations of MeHg (28.25, 56.5 µM) copulated in a normal manner, male and female flies exposed to higher concentrations of MeHg (113, 226, and 339 µM) did not copulate. When male flies exposed to higher concentrations of MeHg were allowed to copulate with control female flies, only male flies fed with 113 µM MeHg were able to copulate. On the other hand, when female flies exposed to higher concentrations of MeHg were allowed to copulate with control male flies, none of the flies could copulate. After introduction of male and female flies in the copulation chamber, duration of wing flapping by male flies decreased in a MeHg-concentration-dependent manner from 101 ± 24 seconds (control) to 100.7 ± 18, 96 ±12, 59 ± 44, 31 ± 15, and 3.7 ± 2.7 seconds at 28.25, 56.5, 113, 226, and 339 µM MeHg, respectively. On the other hand, grooming in male and female flies increased in a MeHg-concentration-dependent manner. These findings suggest that MeHg exposure causes sexual dysfunction in male and female Drosophila melanogaster. Further studies showed that MeHg exposure increased oxidative stress and decreased triglyceride levels in a concentration–dependent manner in both male and female flies, suggesting that MeHg-induced oxidative stress and decreased triglyceride levels may partly contribute to sexual dysfunction in fruit flies. View Full-Text
Keywords: copulation; Drosophila melanogaster; methylmercury; oxidative stress; sexual dysfunction copulation; Drosophila melanogaster; methylmercury; oxidative stress; sexual dysfunction
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Chauhan, V.; Srikumar, S.; Aamer, S.; Pandareesh, M.D.; Chauhan, A. Methylmercury Exposure Induces Sexual Dysfunction in Male and Female Drosophila Melanogaster. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1108.

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