Environmental CO2 inhibits Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying by modulating olfactory neurons and evokes widespread changes in neural activity

L.A. Fenk, M. de Bono, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 (2015) E3525–E3534.

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Journal Article | Published | English
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Abstract
Carbon dioxide (CO2) gradients are ubiquitous and provide animals with information about their environment, such as the potential presence of prey or predators. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans avoids elevated CO2, and previous work identified three neuron pairs called “BAG,” “AFD,” and “ASE” that respond to CO2 stimuli. Using in vivo Ca2+ imaging and behavioral analysis, we show that C. elegans can detect CO2 independently of these sensory pathways. Many of the C. elegans sensory neurons we examined, including the AWC olfactory neurons, the ASJ and ASK gustatory neurons, and the ASH and ADL nociceptors, respond to a rise in CO2 with a rise in Ca2+. In contrast, glial sheath cells harboring the sensory endings of C. elegans’ major chemosensory neurons exhibit strong and sustained decreases in Ca2+ in response to high CO2. Some of these CO2 responses appear to be cell intrinsic. Worms therefore may couple detection of CO2 to that of other cues at the earliest stages of sensory processing. We show that C. elegans persistently suppresses oviposition at high CO2. Hermaphrodite-specific neurons (HSNs), the executive neurons driving egg-laying, are tonically inhibited when CO2 is elevated. CO2 modulates the egg-laying system partly through the AWC olfactory neurons: High CO2 tonically activates AWC by a cGMP-dependent mechanism, and AWC output inhibits the HSNs. Our work shows that CO2 is a more complex sensory cue for C. elegans than previously thought, both in terms of behavior and neural circuitry.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2015-07-07
Journal Title
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume
112
Issue
27
Page
E3525-E3534
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Fenk LA, de Bono M. Environmental CO2 inhibits Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying by modulating olfactory neurons and evokes widespread changes in neural activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2015;112(27):E3525-E3534. doi:10.1073/pnas.1423808112
Fenk, L. A., & de Bono, M. (2015). Environmental CO2 inhibits Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying by modulating olfactory neurons and evokes widespread changes in neural activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(27), E3525–E3534. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1423808112
Fenk, Lorenz A., and Mario de Bono. “Environmental CO2 Inhibits Caenorhabditis Elegans Egg-Laying by Modulating Olfactory Neurons and Evokes Widespread Changes in Neural Activity.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112, no. 27 (2015): E3525–34. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1423808112.
L. A. Fenk and M. de Bono, “Environmental CO2 inhibits Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying by modulating olfactory neurons and evokes widespread changes in neural activity,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 112, no. 27, pp. E3525–E3534, 2015.
Fenk LA, de Bono M. 2015. Environmental CO2 inhibits Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying by modulating olfactory neurons and evokes widespread changes in neural activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112(27), E3525–E3534.
Fenk, Lorenz A., and Mario de Bono. “Environmental CO2 Inhibits Caenorhabditis Elegans Egg-Laying by Modulating Olfactory Neurons and Evokes Widespread Changes in Neural Activity.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 112, no. 27, National Academy of Sciences, 2015, pp. E3525–34, doi:10.1073/pnas.1423808112.
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