Genetic analysis of IP3 and calcium signalling pathways in C. elegans

Author: Baylis, H.A.; Vazquez-Manrique, R.P. Description: BACKGROUND: The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, is an established model system that is particularly well suited to genetic analysis. C. elegans is easily manipulated and we have an in depth knowledge of many aspects of its biology. Thus, it is an attractive system in which to pursue integrated studies of signalling pathways. C. elegans has a complement of calcium signalling molecules similar to that of other animals. SCOPE OF REVIEW: We focus on IP3 signalling. We describe how forward and reverse genetic approaches, including RNAi,…

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Does thermoregulatory behavior maximize reproductive fitness of natural isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans?

Author: Anderson, J.L.; Albergotti, L.; Ellebracht, B.; Huey, R.B.; Phillips, P.C. Description: BACKGROUND: A central premise of physiological ecology is that an animal’s preferred body temperature should correspond closely with the temperature maximizing performance and Darwinian fitness. Testing this co-adaptational hypothesis has been problematic for several reasons. First, reproductive fitness is the appropriate measure, but is difficult to measure in most animals. Second, no single fitness measure applies to all demographic situations, complicating interpretations. Here we test the co-adaptation hypothesis by studying an organism (Caenorhabditis elegans) in which both fitness…

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Metabolic shift from glycogen to trehalose promotes lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans

Author: Seo, Y., Kingsley, S., Walker, G., Mondoux, M. A., & Tissenbaum, H. A. Description: As Western diets continue to include an ever-increasing amount of sugar, there has been a rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes. To avoid metabolic diseases, the body must maintain proper metabolism, even on a high-sugar diet. In both humans and Caenorhabditis elegans, excess sugar (glucose) is stored as glycogen. Here, we find that animals increased stored glycogen as they aged, whereas even young adult animals had increased stored glycogen on a high-sugar diet. Decreasing…

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Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors are strongly expressed in the nervous system, pharynx, intestine, gonad and excretory cell of Caenorhabditis elegans and are encoded by a single gene (itr-1)

Author: Baylis, H.A.; Furuichi, T.; Yoshikawa, F.; Mikoshiba, K.; Sattelle, D.B. Description: Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) activates receptors (InsP3Rs) that mediate intracellular Ca(2+ )release, thereby modulating intracellular calcium signals and regulating important aspects of cellular physiology and gene expression. To further our understanding of InsP3Rs we have characterised InsP3Rs and the InsP3R gene, itr-1, from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. cDNAs encoding InsP3Rs were cloned enabling us to: (a) identify three putative transcription start sites that result in alternative mRNA 5′ ends: (b) detect alternative splicing at three sites and: (c)…

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Increase of stress resistance and lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans by quercetin

Author: Kampkotter, A.; Timpel, C.; Zurawski, R.F.; Ruhl, S.; Chovolou, Y.; Proksch, P.; Watjen, W. Description: The health beneficial effects of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are, at least in part, attributed to polyphenols that are present in many herbal edibles. Although many in vitro studies revealed a striking variety of biochemical and pharmacological properties data about the beneficial effects of polyphenols in whole organisms, especially with respect to ageing, are quite limited. We used the well established model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to elucidate the protective effects of…

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The effects of metals and food availability on the behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans

Author: Boyd, W.A.; Cole, R.D.; Anderson, G.L.; Williams, P.L. Description: Caenorhabditis elegans, a nonparasitic soil nematode, was used to assess the combined effects of metal exposures and food availability on behavior. Movement was monitored using a computer tracking system after exposures to Cu, Pb, or Cd while feeding was measured as a change in optical density (deltaOD) of bacteria suspensions over the exposure period. After 24-h exposures at high and low bacteria concentrations, movement was decreased in a concentration-dependent fashion by Pb and Cd but feeding reductions were not directly…

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Quantitative measures of aging in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. I. Population and longitudinal studies of two behavioral parameters

Author: Bolanowski, M.A.; Russell, R.L.; Jacobson, L.A. Description: As a first step in the quantitative characterization of senescence in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we have studied movement wave frequency, defecation frequency, and whole-body water efflux as a function of age. Populations of C. elegans, strain N2, were cultured monoxenically on E. coli lawns at 20 degrees C. The median lifespan in such populations was approximately 12 days. Population mean movement wave frequency declined linearly with age (slope = -4.66 waves/minute per day). The decline in population mean defecation frequency (defecations…

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A diacylglycerol kinase modulates long-term thermotactic behavioral plasticity in C. elegans

Author: Biron, D.; Shibuya, M.; Gabel, C.; Wasserman, S.M.; Clark, D.A.; Brown, A.; Sengupta, P.; Samuel, A.D.T. Description: A memory of prior thermal experience governs Caenorhabditis elegans thermotactic behavior. On a spatial thermal gradient, C. elegans tracks isotherms near a remembered temperature we call the thermotactic set-point (T(S)). The T(S) corresponds to the previous cultivation temperature and can be reset by sustained exposure to a new temperature. The mechanisms underlying this behavioral plasticity are unknown, partly because sensory and experience-dependent components of thermotactic behavior have been difficult to separate. Using…

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High-glucose diets induce mitochondrial dysfunction in Caenorhabditis elegans

Author: Alcántar-Fernández, J., González-Maciel, A., Reynoso-Robles, R., Andrade, M. E. P., Hernández-Vázquez, A. d. J., Velázquez-Arellano, A., & Miranda-Ríos, J. Description: Glucose is an important nutrient that dictates the development, fertility and lifespan of all organisms. In humans, a deficit in its homeostatic control might lead to hyperglucemia and the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which show a decreased ability to respond to and metabolize glucose. Previously, we have reported that high-glucose diets (HGD) induce alterations in triglyceride content, body size, progeny, and the mRNA accumulation of key…

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Development of the reproductive system of Caenorhabditis elegans

Author: Hirsh, D.; Oppenheim, D.; Klass, M. Description: A morphological study of the growth and the development of the reproductive system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been carried out. When the first stage larva hatches from the egg it contains four primordial gonadial cells. These cells proliferate and form the entire adult reproductive system, consisting of approximately 2500 nuclei, in 45 hr at 25°C. Several distinctive morphological featues of gonadogenesis and early embryogenesis that are recognizable in the compound microscope can be used to chart the development of the…

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