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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent and lethal neurodegenerative disease. Memory loss and motor dysfunction are accompanied by pathological hallmarks like neurofibrillary tangles or amyloid plaques. In this study, courtship suppression assay was used to assess learning and memory of a transgenic Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) line expressing human Amyloid beta 42 (Aβ42). At young age (4–6 days old), both parental control and AD flies displayed lower courtship indices during training after being rejected by previously mated females. However, in the subsequent testing phase, young AD flies showed compromised recall memory, unlike that of parental controls. Neither control nor AD flies at 16–18 days old showed significant learning or recall memory. AD flies also exhibited age-related motor defects and presented amyloid plaques in brain sections. Interestingly, older AD flies displayed persistent chasing throughout the one-hour training period, and they attempted copulation at higher frequency than the untrained AD controls. Thus, transgenic AD flies displayed early onset of memory deficit, and aggressive courtship behavior as they aged.

This article was published Open Access through the CCU Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund. The article was first published in eBio:

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