Exposure to Trans Fat During the Developmental Period of Drosophila melanogaster Alters the Composition of Fatty Acids in the Head and Induces Depression-like Behavior

Neuroscience. 2023 May 21:519:10-22. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2023.03.015. Epub 2023 Mar 17.


Given the importance of understanding the disorders caused by trans fatty acids (TFAs), this study sought to add different concentrations hydrogenated vegetable fat (HVF) to the diet of Drosophila melanogaster during the developmental period and evaluate the effects on neurobehavioral parameters. Longevity, hatching rate, and behavioral functions were assessed, such as negative geotaxis, forced swimming, light/dark, mating, and aggressiveness. The fatty acids (FAs) present in the heads of the flies were quantified as well as serotonin (5HT) and dopamine (DA) levels. Our findings showed that flies that received HVF at all concentrations during development showed reduced longevity and hatching rates, in addition to increased depression-like, anxious-like, anhedonia-like, and aggressive behaviors. As for the biochemical parameters, there was a more significant presence of TFA in flies exposed to HVF at all concentrations evaluated and lower 5HT and DA levels. This study shows that HVF during the developmental phase can cause neurological changes and consequently induce behavioral disorders, thereby highlighting the importance of the type of FA offered in the early stages of life.

Keywords: behavioral disorders; dietary composition; fatty acids; neuronal membranes; serotonin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Depression
  • Drosophila melanogaster*
  • Fatty Acids
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Trans Fatty Acids*


  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids