Motility

The assay to evaluate the effects of test compounds on C. elegans’ fitness and motility.

Method description

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

Worms are chronically exposed to the test compounds starting from the last larval stage prior to sexual maturity (L4) for 85 hours (day 3 of adulthood). The compounds to be tested are mixed with the E. coli solution. Freeze-dried OP50 E. coli are used as a food source for the whole duration of the experiment, preventing the metabolization of the tested molecules by the bacteria.

Starting from 70 hours post-worm injection (day 1 of adulthood), short video sequences are recorded every six hours for each microfluidic chamber. Time-resolved readouts are then extracted from the acquired videos for a diversified characterization of the worms’ motility.

Readouts

  • Bending frequency
  • Velocity
  • Amplitude of the movement of the head
  • Amplitude of the movement at the middle of the body
  • Amplitude of the movement of the tail

Movement analysis for a wild-type worm during high (top) and low (bottom) physical activity, as automatically generated by the SydLab motility analysis software.

Motility (high activity)

Representative multi-phenotypic fingerprint plot comparing a control worm and a more active worm at day 1 of adulthood, which includes readouts of body bends frequency, velocity, curvature and amplitude of the movement at the head, tail and middle of the body. This high-content motion analysis reveals very subtle changes in C. elegans movements, beyond average motility measurements.

Motility (Low activity)

Representative multi-phenotypic fingerprint plot comparing a control worm and a less active worm at day 1 of adulthood, which includes readouts of body bends frequency, velocity, curvature and amplitude of the movement at the head, tail and middle of the body. This high-content motion analysis reveals very subtle changes in C. elegans movements, beyond average motility measurements.

Assay combinations

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