Although electric fields (EF) exert beneficial effects on animal wound healing, differentiation, cancers and rheumatoid arthritis, the molecular mechanisms of these effects have remained unclear about a half century. Therefore, we aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying EF effects in Drosophila melanogaster as a genetic animal model. Here we show that the sleep quality of wild type (WT) flies was improved by exposure to a 50-Hz (35 kV/m) constant electric field during the day time, but not during the night time. The effect was undetectable in cryptochrome mutant (cryb) flies. Exposure to a 50-Hz electric field under low nutrient conditions elongated the lifespan of male and female WT flies by ~ 18%, but not of several cry mutants and cry RNAi strains. Metabolome analysis indicated that the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) content was higher in intact WT than cry gene mutant strains exposed to an electric field. A putative magnetoreceptor protein and UV-A/blue light photoreceptor, CRYPTOCHROME (CRY) is involved in electric field (EF) receptors in animals. The present findings constitute hitherto unknown genetic evidence of a CRY-based system that is electric field sensitive in animals.
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