Epilepsy is a worldwide public health concern associated with debilitating neurological, cognitive, and psychosocial consequences. Current antiepileptic drugs can have debilitating side effects and new treatments are needed for individuals with pharmaco-resistant seizures like those observed in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Ellagic acid (EA), a polyphenol present in several fruits and nuts, has shown beneficial effects in rodent models of epilepsy and anxiety, possibly mediated through GABAergic pathways. Bang-Sensitive Drosophila mutants model epileptic seizures following mechanical shock and provide a high-throughput alternative to costly rodent studies. The objectives of this study were to: 1) examine the effectiveness of seizure modeling in two Bang-Sensitive mutants strains [bang senseless (bss) and easily shocked (eas)], 2) explore the anticonvulsant effects of EA, and 3) investigate EA’s mechanism of action through the addition of two types of GABA antagonists: flumazenil (FL) and picrotoxin (PTX). The results indicated that vortexing consistently induced seizure-like activity (SLA) in both mutant strains. When examining control groups, bss flies exhibited more severe SLA when compared to eas flies. EA slightly reduced SLA in bss flies while both GABA antagonists increased SLA; however these effects were non-significant. Eas flies
receiving EA exhibited significantly less SLA when compared to bss flies. Both GABA antagonists significantly increased SLA in eas flies, with PTX exerting the strongest effect. This possibly indicates that EA’s anticonvulsant effect involves GABAergic systems in a strain-specific manner and may be more likely mediated through a GABAA receptor site than benzodiazepine site. Moreover, utilizing Bang-Sensitive mutants with varying levels of seizure-sensitivity provides a valuable tool for screening plant-based compounds that can be utilized in the treatment of refractory TLE.
School of Behavioral Health
Hartman, Richard E.
Fogel, Travis G.
Haerich, Paul E.
Vermeersch, David A.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Epilepsy - drug therapy; Anticonvulsants; Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe;
Subject - Local
Polyphenols; Ellagic acid; Bang-Sensitive Drosophila mutants
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Smith, Alphonso A., "The Effects of Seizure Modeling and Polyphenols on Behavior in Bang-Sensitive Drosophila" (2017). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 430.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives