Degree Level



Biological Science

First Advisor

Mahoney, Rebekah

Second Advisor

Skipper, Robert

LCSH subject

Drosophila melanogaster -- Development; Drosophila melanogaster -- Genetics; Drosophila melanogaster -- Physiology


Research in Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster) has been growing in order to identify the fundamental processes of human disorders of the central nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and other neurological disorders at a molecular level. Altered insulin signaling itself has been linked to widespread nervous system dysfunction including cognitive dysfunction, neuropathies, and susceptibility to neurodegenerative disease. However, knowledge of the cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of insulin on nervous system function is still incomplete. The focus behind investigating the insulin signaling pathway is derived from our observations in the adult D. melanogaster neuromuscular junction (NMJ) to changes in diet; these studies exhibit decreased excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSP) in the adult that show a decrease in neurotransmission response when insulin signaling is increased, whilst larva do not share the same response. These findings have led us to try to understand why adult D. melanogaster changes in neurotransmission are observed when diet is manipulated, but the larval responses are not changing in the same manner. This investigation will compare the adult Drosophila mechanism of insulin signaling within the NMJ to evaluate the larvae of its difference of components shown or not shown at the pre-synaptic bouton of the NMJ. This investigation evaluated the components of the insulin signaling pathway in the larval D. melanogaster in order to identify the absence of mechanical structures in the larva that do not allow for a similar response seen in the adult Drosophila.

Publication Date

Spring 5-8-2023

Document Type


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License