Hydrogen Peroxide Stimulates Activity and Alters Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster
Circadian rhythms in animals are regulated at the level of individual cells and by systemic signaling to coordinate the activities of multiple tissues. The circadian pacemakers have several physiological outputs, including daily locomotor rhythms. Several redox-active compounds have been found to function in regulation of circadian rhythms in cells, however, how particular compounds might be involved in regulating specific animal behaviors remains largely unknown. Here the effects of hydrogen peroxide on Drosophila movement were analyzed using a recently developed three-dimensional real-time multiple fly tracking assay. Both hydrogen peroxide feeding and direct injection of hydrogen peroxide caused increased adult fly locomotor activity. Continuous treatment with hydrogen peroxide also suppressed daily locomotor rhythms. Conditional over-expression of the hydrogen peroxide-producing enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) also increased fly activity and altered the patterns of locomotor activity across days and weeks. The real-time fly tracking system allowed for detailed analysis of the effects of these manipulations on behavior. For example, both hydrogen peroxide feeding and SOD over-expression increased all fly motion parameters, however, hydrogen peroxide feeding caused relatively more erratic movement, whereas SOD over-expression produced relatively faster-moving flies. Taken together, the data demonstrate that hydrogen peroxide has dramatic effects on fly movement and daily locomotor rhythms, and implicate hydrogen peroxide in the normal control of these processes.