We discovered that in the absence of cholesterol, NPC mutants display a lower pharyngeal pumping frequency and a longer duration between pumps than control N2 animals (see Figure 1). This is the progress we made in our collaborative research project with Perlara and investigation into the lysosomal disorder, Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC). Previous to this work, [...]
Niemann-Pick Type C is a rare developmental disorder affecting children. We explore the efficacy of new potential therapeutics with the ScreenChip System.
Effects of serotonin in mammals can be modeled using pharyngeal pumping phenotypes in C. elegans Terra Hiebert, Ph. D. Serotonin is well known for being important in the regulation of people’s mood. Here in the Pacific Northwest, our long overcast winters have made many of us very familiar with the mood improving effects of [...]
Yoanne Clovis, Ph.D. We know that C. elegans’ feeding behavior strongly influences the worm’s aging and longevity1. So, a couple of months ago, we decided to test adult worms from Day 1 to Day 15 to quantify how aging affects their feeding behavior. As expected, we saw that the pumping frequency decreases with age, but [...]
Yoanne M. Clovis, Ph.D. Summary Non-mammalian model organisms are typically used in early research to deliver fast answers to a discovery problem. The most popular model organisms in biological and biomedical research are the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the zebrafish and the nematode C. elegans. In this review, we provide an overview of the advantages [...]
Worms, Flies or Fish? A Comparison of Common Model Organisms – Part 1: Models for Biomedical Research
Yoanne M. Clovis, Ph.D. | Non-mammalian model organisms are typically used in early research to deliver fast answers to a discovery problem. The most popular model organisms in biological and biomedical research are the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the zebrafish and the nematode C. elegans. We provide a comparison of the advantages and limitations of many commonly used model organisms.
Janis Weeks, Ph.D. | The NemaMetrix ScreenChip system was developed for C. elegans, which is but one of the estimated 1 million members of the highly diverse phylum, Nematoda. To demonstrate the utility of microfluidic EPG recordings from species beyond C. elegans, we adapted the platform to record from several human and animal gastrointestinal parasites, male and female members of a dioecious nematode species, and a carnivorous nematode.
Janis Weeks, Ph.D. | The heavy metal, copper (Cu2+), is toxic to humans and C. elegans. We used the ScreenChip system to detect Cu2+ in aqueous samples at concentrations (≤10 mg/L) within the range found in contaminated home water supplies. EPG recordings provide a powerful new tool for C. elegans toxicology research.
KCNQ Potassium Channels and C. elegans Pharyngeal Pumping: A Genetic and Behavioral Model for Cardiac Arrhythmia
Yoanne M. Clovis, Ph.D. | Humans have over 70 potassium channel genes, but only some of these have been linked to disease. In this respect, the KCNQ family of potassium channels is exceptional: mutations in four out of five KCNQ genes underlie diseases including cardiac arrhythmias, deafness, and epilepsy. In this technical note, we investigated the effect of mutations of orthologous KCNQ-like genes in the nematode C. elegans on electrical excitability using the NemaMetrix ScreenChip System.
Shawn Lockery, Ph.D. | In C. elegans, a key marker of age-related decline in health is a reduction in the rate of pharyngeal pumping. Until now, it has been necessary to count pumps by eye, which is laborious, slow, and often inaccurate. The NemaMetrix ScreenChip System automates the process of counting pumps by recording their electrical signature, called the electropharyngeogram (EPG). Here we show that the age-related decline in pumping is recapitulated when pumps are counted in electrical recordings.
Q: After I position a worm in the ScreenChip, should I start recording right away or wait a while? BACKGROUND Mechanical stimulation can temporarily reduce pumping frequency in C. elegans (1). Positioning a worm in the ScreenChip between the recording electrodes applies gentle pressure to the worm’s body, which might likewise influence pumping. We investigated [...]
Microfluidic electropharyngeograms confirm and extend the phenotypic analysis of glutamate neurotransmission mutants in C. elegans
Shawn Lockery, Ph.D. | This technical note demonstrates that the ScreenChip System can reproduce the expected effects of pumping mutants in which glutamate transmission is disrupted. It also illustrates new mechanistic insights the system can provide.