(When faced with circumstances beyond the control, animals, including humans, often hide when sleeping disorders or diet disorders and the Other manifestations of depression. Now, researchers report at the Cell Press magazine Current Biology on April 18 that the same thing happens in flies.
The study is a step forward in understanding the biological basis of depression and presents a new way to test antidepressant drugs, the researchers said. The discovery of depressive symptoms in an insect shows that the root cause of the disease is very profound.
'Depression is very serious because they return as a fundamental property of behavior,' said Martin Heisenberg of Rudolf Virchow center in Würzburg, Germany.
Heisenberg said the idea for this study came from a long discussion with a colleague that if flies could feel fear. Franco Bertolucci, a co-author of this study, found that flies can learn to prevent innate behavior, a phenomenon that is part of a learning-free state .
Researchers show that flies experiencing levels of temperature discomfort will crawl away from it. But if the flies recognize the heat beyond their control and cannot escape, they will stop reacting, crawling slower, sleeping longer and more often, as if they were 'depressed'.
Surprisingly, female flies slowed down under those stressful conditions compared to males. It is unclear what that means, but Heisenberg explains: 'If we find that the fly is locked in a dark and strange box, unable to get rid of dangerous heat pulses, we must find a compromise between saving energy and not missing any chance of escape, we can understand that such a compromise can arise differently for male flies and female flies, because of goals and sources. The force in their lives is different '.
Heisenberg's team is now planning to explore to answer other questions, for example: How long does the fly-like depression last? How does it affect other behaviors, such as flirtatious and offensive behaviors? What is happening in their brains? And many other things.
Heisenberg said the results of this study are a reminder of a lesson that children's books often show the best: 'Animals have a lot of similarities with humans. They breathe in the same atmosphere, share with us many resources, operating space and have different social roles. Their brains also serve the same purpose as humans, that is to help them do the right things. '