Investigating Alcohol Behavior and Physiology Using Drosophila melanogaster

  • Aliza K. De Nobrega
  • Kristine V. Luz
  • Katherine N. Lyons
  • Lisa C. LyonsEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2138)


Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, is one of the most versatile models for biomedical studies due to the economical husbandry, rapid generation time, and the array of tools for spatial and temporal gene manipulation. The relatively short lifespan of Drosophila (60–80 days) and the high degree of molecular conservation across species make Drosophila ideal to study the complexities of aging. Alcohol is the most abused drug worldwide and alcohol use disorders represent a significant public health problem and economic burden to individuals and society. Stereotypical alcohol-induced behaviors and the underlying molecular mechanisms are conserved from flies to humans making Drosophila a practical model for investigating the development of alcohol-induced behaviors and alcohol pathologies. Here, we outline how to assemble an efficient and controlled alcohol vapor delivery system, the FlyBar, and review paradigms and protocols for the assessment of alcohol-induced behaviors and physiology in Drosophila including the loss-of-righting reflex, sedation, tolerance, alcohol metabolism, and gut permeability.

Key words

Alcohol use disorder Drosophila Alcohol abuse Aging 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aliza K. De Nobrega
    • 1
  • Kristine V. Luz
    • 1
  • Katherine N. Lyons
    • 1
  • Lisa C. Lyons
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Program in Neuroscience, Department of Biological ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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