mutant clones in adult flies exhibit severe lipid droplet accumulations in glial cells and photoreceptor neurodegeneration.
mutants exhibit abundant lipid droplet accumulations in pigment and epithelial glia. In addition to the retina, lipid droplets also accumulate in the epithelial glia of the lamina.
mutant visual system clones (generated with hidGMR.PG
) exhibit lipid droplet accumulation in the glia.
The morphology of sicilyE
mutant photoreceptors is mostly normal or only mildly affected at day 1. They begin to degenerate several days after eclosion, with elongated or diffuse rhabdomeres. One-day old sicilyE
clones exhibit approximately 10 lipid droplets per ommatidium. Upon aging, these clones display a significant decrease in the number of lipid droplets.
Mutant flies containing homozygous eyes (generated using the eyFLP method) show degenerative electroretinogram (ERG) defects which worsen with age. The amplitude of the ERG is reduced in 1 day old flies and is almost completely abolished after 24 days. Ommatidia contain the normal number of rhabdomeres and have a normal trapezoidal organisation in newly eclosed flies containing homozygous eyes. However, the pigment cells are vastly expanded and have highly aberrant morphology. Some rhabdomeres are missing in 10 day old flies, and many photoreceptors appear rough and/or vacuolated. At 24 days, the rhabdomeres are barely recognisable or are missing. Mitochondria are enlarged in the retinas of newly eclosed flies, by day 10, the mutant mitochondria are swollen and vacuolated with dissociated cristae and by day 24 they are barely recognisable.