Methods to assess Drosophila heart development, function and aging

Methods. 2014 Jun 15;68(1):265-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.03.031. Epub 2014 Apr 12.


In recent years the Drosophila heart has become an established model for many different aspects of human cardiac disease. This model has allowed identification of disease-causing mechanisms underlying congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathies and has permitted the study of underlying genetic, metabolic and age-related contributions to heart function. In this review we discuss methods currently employed in the analysis of the Drosophila heart structure and function, such as optical methods to infer heart function and performance, electrophysiological and mechanical approaches to characterize cardiac tissue properties, and conclude with histological techniques used in the study of heart development and adult structure.

Keywords: Atomic force microscopy; Cardiomyopathy; Development; Drosophila; Electrophysiology; Heart; Immunohistochemistry; KCNQ; Optical heartbeat analysis; Tinman.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / pathology
  • Animals
  • Developmental Biology / methods*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Heart / growth & development*
  • Humans


  • Drosophila Proteins