Developmental Toxicity

The assay to explore the potential adverse effects of chemicals on the development of C. elegans. It can be used as a prediction for teratogenic potency of the test compounds.

Method description

A synchronized population of C. elegans is injected into the microfluidic platform at the first larval stage (L1). Worms are confined within dedicated microfluidic chambers and are continuously fed with an E. coli solution.

Worms are chronically exposed to the test compounds right after the injection (L1 stage) for 130 hours (day 3 of adulthood). The test compounds are mixed with the E. coli solution. Freeze-dried OP50 E. coli are used as a food source, preventing the metabolization of the tested molecules by the bacteria.

The images of each microfluidic chamber are recorded every hour. Time-resolved phenotypic readouts are then extracted from the collected images.

Development timeline

Readouts

  • Worm lethality
  • Worm size
  • Growth dynamics
  • Sexual maturity
  • Fertility
  • Embryonic viability
  • Progeny accumulation rate

C. elegans development over 96 hours post-hatching for wild-type N2 worms treated with the antibiotic doxycycline starting from the L1 larval stage (right) and untreated worms (left), as observed via brightfield imaging by the SydLab system.

Growth dynamics

Temporal evolution of the average worm size for wild-type N2 C. elegans treated with the antibiotic doxycycline starting from the L1 larval stage vs untreated worms (vehicle). The drug treatment significantly impacts on C. elegans development, size and growth rate.

Growth time

Average time to reach half of the maximal size for wild-type N2 C. elegans treated with the antibiotic doxycycline at different doses (data normalized to the value measured for the untreated worm population). Doxycycline treatments dose-dependently delay C. elegans development.

Assay combinations

The developmental toxicity assay can be offered on its own or in combination with the following assays upon request.