Fer2e03248 mutant flies do not exhibit any obvious differences in the overall morphology of the cholinergic, glutamatergic and serotonergic neurons, but there is an evident reduction in dopaminergic neurons: progressive loss of the PAM and PAL cluster neurons is seen in homozygous Fer2e03248 flies compared to controls. As in controls, PAM and PAL neuron number increases during the pupal stages, but never reaches wild type levels. Other dopaminergic neuron clusters are unaffected.
Homozygous Fer2e03248 mutant flies exhibit climbing defects and these are partially but significantly rescued by feeding the flies L-Dopa. There is no obvious rescue of the dopaminergic neuron loss.
The majority of visible mitochondria in the cell bodies of remaining PAM neurons in Fer2e03248 mutant flies are in enlarged aggregations and do not form tubular networks as in th control flies.