Neurodegeneration Induced by Metals in Caenorhabditis elegans.


Metals are a component of a variety of ecosystems and organisms. They can generally be divided into essential and nonessential metals. The essential metals are involved in physiological processes once the deficiency of these metals has been associated with diseases. Although iron, manganese, copper, and zinc are important for life, it has been evidenced that they are also involved in neuronal damage in many neurodegenerative disorders. Nonessential metals, which are metals without physiological functions, are present in trace or higher levels in living organisms. Occupational, environmental, or deliberate exposures to lead, mercury, aluminum, and cadmium are clearly correlated with the increase of toxicity and varied kinds of pathological situations. Actually, the field of neurotoxicology needs to satisfy two opposing demands: the testing of a growing list of chemicals and resource limitations and ethical concerns associated with testing using traditional mammalian species. Toxicological assays using alternative animal models may relieve some of this pressure by allowing testing of more compounds while reducing expenses and using fewer mammals. The nervous system is by far the more complex system in C. elegans. Almost a third of their cells are neurons (302 neurons versus 959 cells in adult hermaphrodite). It initially underwent extensive development as a model organism in order to study the nervous system, and its neuronal lineage and the complete wiring diagram of its nervous system are stereotyped and fully described. The neurotransmission systems are phylogenetically conserved from nematodes to vertebrates, which allows for findings from C. elegans to be extrapolated and further confirmed in vertebrate systems. Different strains of C. elegans offer a new perspective on neurodegenerative processes. Some genes have been found to be related to neurodegeneration induced by metals. Studying these interactions may be an effective tool to slow neuronal loss and deterioration.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-60189-2_18

Cite this paper

@article{Soares2017NeurodegenerationIB, title={Neurodegeneration Induced by Metals in Caenorhabditis elegans.}, author={F{\'e}lix Alexandre Antunes Soares and Daiandra Almeida Fagundez and Daiana Silva de {\'A}vila}, journal={Advances in neurobiology}, year={2017}, volume={18}, pages={355-383} }