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Sexual Dimorphism in Metabolic Responses to Western Diet in Drosophila melanogaster

Abstract : Obesity is a chronic disease affecting millions of people worldwide. The fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is an interesting research model to study metabolic and transcriptomic responses to obesogenic diets. However, the sex-specific differences in these responses are still understudied and perhaps underestimated. In this study, we exposed adult male and female Dahomey fruit flies to a standard diet supplemented with sugar, fat, or a combination of both. The exposure to a diet supplemented with 10% sugar and 10% fat efficiently induced an increase in the lipid content in flies, a hallmark for obesity. This increase in the lipid content was more prominent in males, while females displayed significant changes in the glycogen content. The strong effects of the diets on the ovarian size and number of mature oocytes were also present in females exposed to diets supplemented with fat and a combination of fat and sugar. In both males and females, the fat body morphology changed and was associated with an increase in the lipid content of fat cells in response to the diets. The expression of metabolism-related genes also displayed a strong sexually dimorphic response under normal conditions and in response to the sugar and/or fat-supplemented diets. Here, we showed that the exposure of adult fruit flies to an obesogenic diet containing both sugar and fat allowed studying sexual dimorphism in metabolism and the expression of genes regulating metabolism.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 22, 2022 - 3:06:26 PM
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Sofie de Groef, Tom Wilms, Severine Balmand, Federica Calevro, Patrick Callaerts. Sexual Dimorphism in Metabolic Responses to Western Diet in Drosophila melanogaster. Biomolecules, MDPI, 2022, 12 (1), pp.33. ⟨10.3390/biom12010033⟩. ⟨hal-03521337⟩

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