C. Elegans ageing and cell division
wwwtech at halcyon.com
Wed Dec 22 21:58:23 EST 1993
Regarding ageing in C. Elegans discussion:
1. I am unfamiliar with recent work in lifespan extended mutants of C.
elegans. Were these worms grown on E. coli, and were nutritional factors
2. I did work on axenic cultures of worms with no attempt to work on
lifespan mutants. My control worms lived some 30 days, maximum, and there
was a short (<3day) length of time between high survival (95%) and zero
survival. Do the mutants do better than this? If so, they might truly be
resisting free radicals, etc. Otherwise, the mutation might involve
an increased ability of the worms to resist attack by the very bacteria
they feed on. The crux issue is the question of what is the natural
maximum lifespan of C. elegans cells. Once this is somehow established,
then can it be influenced through genetic selection?
3. Part of this work involved a grant application that NIH liked a lot,
but was buried in a program project that sank under the weight of the
other grant requests. The gist of the grant involved a combination
gentic/biochemical/nutritional/ultrastructural approach to aging in C.
elegans. Old worms show ultrastructural alterations in the form of
disrupted cell structure and the accumulation of ageing pigments. Because
you can scan a cross section of a worm at high resolution, and you can
quantify ageing markers as well as tell exactly their cellular origins,
you should be able to correlate ageing changes with structure.
Ultrastructural phenotype selection should be an effective way to get
mutants because the worms were easily prepared for the scope and the
cells were so easy to pinpoint.
3a. The biochemical part was important. We had a bulk axenic culture
method that allowed for the growth of decent masses of worms. I hoped
that the intracellular pigments, and other, markers could be used as tags
useful in corellating structure and chemistry.
So, I guess I'm wondering whether any of these leads have been followed
up in the 16 years since I did that work?
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