Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 442, Issue 1–2, pp 129–142 | Cite as

Treatment with pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) and 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) differently affects survival, locomotor activity, and biochemical markers in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Deividi C. S. Soares
  • José L. R. Portela
  • Daniel H. Roos
  • Nathane R. Rodrigues
  • Karen K. Gomes
  • Giulianna E. Macedo
  • Thais Posser
  • Jeferson L. Franco
  • Waseem Hassan
  • Robson L. Puntel


PTZ is a convulsive agent that acts via selective blockage of GABAA receptor channels, whereas 4-AP leads to a convulsive episode via blockage of K+ channels. However, the mechanism(s) by which pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) and 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) cause toxicity to Drosophila melanogaster needs to be properly explored, once it will help in establishing an alternative model for development of proper therapeutic strategies and also to counteract the changes associated with exposure to both epileptic drugs. For the purpose, we investigated the effects of exposure (48 h) to PTZ (60 mM) and/or 4-AP (20 mM) on survival, locomotor performance, and biochemical markers in the body and/or head of flies. 4-AP-fed flies presented a higher incidence of mortality and a worse performance in the open field test as compared to non-treated flies. 4-AP also caused a significant increase in the reactive species (RS) and protein carbonyl (PC) content in the body and head. Also a significant increase in catalase and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities was observed in the body. In the same vein, PTZ exposure resulted in a significant increase in RS, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), PC content, and catalase activity in the body. PTZ exposure also caused a significant increase in AChE activity both in body and head. It is important to note that PTZ-treated flies also down-regulated the NRF2 expression. Moreover, both 4AP- and PTZ-fed flies presented a significant decrease in MTT reduction, down-regulation, and inhibition of SOD in body. However, SOD was significantly more active in the head of both 4-AP and PTZ-treated flies. Our findings provide evidence regarding the toxicological potential of both PTZ and/or 4-AP to flies. This model will help in decoding the underlying toxicological mechanisms of the stated drugs. It will also help to properly investigate the therapeutic strategies and to counteract the drastic changes associated with both epileptogenic drugs.


Epileptogenic drugs Oxidative stress Enzyme activity Gene expression 



The authors are grateful to FAPERGS, CAPES, CNPq, FINEP, INCT-EN, and UNIPAMPA. Additional support was provided by CNPq/FAPERGS/DECIT/SCTIE-MS/PRONEM #11/2029-1 and CNPq (Universal) research grants # 449428/2014-1 and # 456207/2014-7. DCSS and JLP are grateful to CAPES for the scholarship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deividi C. S. Soares
    • 1
  • José L. R. Portela
    • 1
  • Daniel H. Roos
    • 1
  • Nathane R. Rodrigues
    • 2
  • Karen K. Gomes
    • 2
  • Giulianna E. Macedo
    • 2
  • Thais Posser
    • 2
  • Jeferson L. Franco
    • 2
  • Waseem Hassan
    • 3
  • Robson L. Puntel
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em BioquímicaUniversidade Federal do PampaUruguaianaBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology ResearchUniversidade Federal do PampaSão GabrielBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of Chemical SciencesUniversity of PeshawarPeshawarPakistan

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