Brazilian Pampa Biome Honey Protects Against Mortality, Locomotor Deficits and Oxidative Stress Induced by Hypoxia/Reperfusion in Adult Drosophila melanogaster
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We aimed to investigate the potential beneficial effects of the Brazilian Pampa biome honey in a Drosophila-based hypoxia model. Adult flies were reared in standard medium in the presence or absence of honey (at a final concentration of 10 % in medium). Then, control flies (4 % sucrose in medium) and honey-treated flies were submitted to hypoxia. Subsequently, flies were analyzed for mortality, neurolocomotor behavior (negative geotaxis), mitochondrial/oxidative stress parameters and expression of hypoxia/stress related genes by RT-qPCR. The HPLC analysis revealed the presence of phenolics and flavonoids in the studied honey. Caffeic acid was the major compound followed by p-coumaric acid and kaempferol. The presence of such compounds was correlated with a substantial antioxidant activity in vitro. Flies subjected to hypoxia presented marked mortality, locomotor deficits and changes in oxidative stress and mitochondrial activity parameters. Honey treatment was able to completely block mortality and locomotor phenotypes. In addition, honey was able to reverse ROS production and hypoxia-induced changes in mitochondrial complex I and II activity. Hypoxia also induced an up-regulation in mRNA expression of Sima (HIF-1), NFκβ, NRF2, HOX, AKT-1, InR, dILP2, dILP5 and HSP27. Honey treatment was not able to modulate changes in the tested genes, indicating that its protective effects involve additional mechanisms other than transcriptional activity of hypoxia-driven adaptive responses in flies. Our results demonstrated, for the first time, the beneficial effects of honey against the deleterious effects of hypoxia/reperfusion processes in a complex organism.