The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Modelling tauopathies in Drosophila

Shepherd, D., Newman, T., Mudher, A. and Lovestone, S. (2002) Modelling tauopathies in Drosophila Neurobiology of Aging, 23, (1, Supplement 1), p.S234. (doi:10.1016/S0197-4580(02)00052-0).

Record type: Article


Tauopathies are a group of neurodegenerative diseases that are characterised by abnormalities in the microtubule associated protein Tau. Tau abnormalities in these tauopathies take the form of overexpression, hyperphosphorylation and aggregation into filaments which can accumulate to form the pathological hallmark of these diseases, the neurofibrillary tangles. Little is known about the mechanism(s) by which these Tau abnormalities evolve, and what affect they have on neuronal function. To analyse the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these defects, we have used Drosophila to model tauopathies. We have used the UAS/GAL4 expression system to selectively drive overexpression of human 0N3R Tau in either sensory neurones or motor neurones. In sensory neurons overexpression of Tau resulted in aberrations in sensory neuron morphology characterised by neuronal loss, abnormal fasciculation and blebbing of axons, and reduced aborisation 1. To extend thiswork we have overexpressed Tau in motor neurones. Tau expressing motor neurons display two characteristic defects. First, the structure of the neuromuscular junction exhibits a distinct hyperbranching phenotype, a phenomenon associated with synaptic dysfunction. Second overexpression of Tau leads to a disruption of axonal transport. In Tau overexpressing motor neurons the normal distribution of vesicles is disturbed and vesicles aggregate into large vesicular “clusters.” These data indicate that overexpression of Tau may adversely affect synaptic transmission and axonal transport. Collectively our data show that Drosophila can be used as a model organism to analyse the effects of Tau abnormalities and provide novel insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie their pathogenesis. Furthermore, the powerful molecular genetics tools that Drosophila offers enable other aspects of the tauopathies to be investigated.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1 July 2002
Organisations: Biological Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 56660
PURE UUID: 13006d4b-37a5-42a5-bed6-d72dcbdf9732

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:30

Export record



Author: D. Shepherd
Author: T. Newman
Author: A. Mudher
Author: S. Lovestone

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.