The effects of food supplementation with sodium chromate at concentrations of 1-500 μM on development of Drosophila melanogaster larvae and food intake, carbohydrate and lipid pools in adult fruit flies were investigated. Food supplementation with hexavalent chromium (Na2CrO4) at high concentrations delayed larval development and decreased the percentage of larvae that pupated which indicated a relatively low toxicity. The supplement decreased glucose levels in fly hemolymph, but at concentrations of 5-25 μM increased fly carbohydrate reserves: hemolymph trehalose and whole body trehalose and glycogen. The data on parameters of carbohydrate metabolism show that chromate possesses some insulin-mimetic properties. The changes in metabolism of carbohydrates under chromate exposure were also accompanied by an increase in total lipid levels and in the portion of triacylglycerides among all lipids. Chromate addition to fly food did not affect male or female body mass, but reduced food consumption by females at all concentrations used, whereas in males only 500 μM chromate decreased food consumption. The data show that: (1) Cr6 + has many of the same effects as Cr3 + suggesting that it might be just as effective to treat diabetic states, likely as a result of intracellular reduction of Cr6 + ions, and (2) the Drosophila model can be used to develop new approaches to investigate the molecular mechanisms of chromium as an insulin-mimetic. Although it is usually believed that hexavalent chromium possesses higher toxicity than the trivalent ion, due to its easier penetration into the cell, application of hexavalent chromium may substantially decrease the chromium doses needed to get the desired effects.

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Keywords Glucose, Glycogen, Lipids, Nutrition, Trehalose, Triacylglycerides
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Journal Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Perkhulyn, N.V. (Natalia V.), Rovenko, B.M. (Bohdana M.), Zvarych, T.V. (Tetyana V.), Lushchak, O.V. (Oleh V.), Storey, J, Storey, K, & Lushchak, V.I. (Volodymyr I.). (2015). Sodium chromate demonstrates some insulin-mimetic properties in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology, 167, 74–80. doi:10.1016/j.cbpc.2014.08.007