NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
A promising indicator of neurobehavioral toxicity using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and computer tracking.
Williams PL; Dusenbery DB
Toxicol Ind Health 1990 May; 6(3-4):425-440
Results of an evaluation of the use of the nematode, Caenorhabditis- elegans, and a computer tracking system as a potential neurobehavioral toxicity screening test were provided. Six substances were chosen for testing: four known human neurotoxins including mercury (7439976), lead (7439921), malathion (121755), and vapona (62737) and two chemicals not believed to be neurotoxins, copper (7440508) and beryllium (7440417). The animals were viewed in dark field illumination by a video camera interfaced directly to a microcomputer. Several hundred nematodes were tracked simultaneously and rates of locomotion and frequency of change of direction were reported in real time. The system was able to rapidly obtain reliable data on a variety of behavioral parameters relating to locomotion and response to sensory stimulation. The results indicated that the rate of movement of exposed nematodes compared to the rate of movement of vehicle controls may prove to be useful as an indicator of neurotoxicity. With all six chemicals it was noted that once the exposure concentration reached levels causing significant lethality, movement and survival decreased more or less in parallel. For neurotoxicity to be demonstrated by a substance, a behavioral change must be observed at a concentration below the lethal range for the particular chemical. The authors postulate that the more specifically neurotoxic a chemical is, the greater the difference in concentration between the two types of effects.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Neurotoxic-effects; Organo-phosphorus-compounds; Organo-phosphorus-pesticides; Neuropathology; Nervous-system-disorders; Neurotoxicity; Agricultural-chemicals; Mercury-poisoning; Lead-poisoning; Heavy-metal-poisoning
7439-97-6; 7439-92-1; 121-75-5; 62-73-7; 7440-50-8; 7440-41-7
Issue of Publication
Neurotoxic Disorders; Neurotoxic-effects
Toxicology and Industrial Health
School of Biology Georgia Inst of Technology Atlanta, GA 30332
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division