Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 May 20;105(20):7321-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0802164105. Epub 2008 May 13.

Hypoxia and the HIF-1 transcriptional pathway reorganize a neuronal circuit for oxygen-dependent behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.


Rapid behavioral responses to oxygen are generated by specialized sensory neurons that sense hypoxia and hyperoxia. On a slower time scale, many cells respond to oxygen through the activity of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor HIF-1. Here, we show that in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, prolonged growth in hypoxia alters the neuronal circuit for oxygen preference by activating the hif-1 pathway. Activation of hif-1 by hypoxia or by mutations in its negative regulator egl-9/prolyl hydroxylase shifts behavioral oxygen preferences to lower concentrations and eliminates a regulatory input from food. At a neuronal level, hif-1 activation transforms a distributed, regulated neuronal network for oxygen preference into a smaller, fixed network that is constitutively active. The hif-1 pathway acts both in neurons and in gonadal endocrine cells to regulate oxygen preference. These results suggest that physiological detection of hypoxia by multiple tissues provides adaptive information to neuronal circuits to modify behavior.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk