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Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Jun;121(6):717-24. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1206301. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

A C. elegans screening platform for the rapid assessment of chemical disruption of germline function.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115 , USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the developmental impact of chromosome segregation errors, we lack the tools to assess environmental effects on the integrity of the germline in animals.

OBJECTIVES:

We developed an assay in Caenorhabditis elegans that fluorescently marks aneuploid embryos after chemical exposure.

METHODS:

We qualified the predictive value of the assay against chemotherapeutic agents as well as environmental compounds from the ToxCast Phase I library by comparing results from the C. elegans assay with the comprehensive mammalian in vivo end point data from the ToxRef database.

RESULTS:

The assay was highly predictive of mammalian reproductive toxicities, with a 69% maximum balanced accuracy. We confirmed the effect of select compounds on germline integrity by monitoring germline apoptosis and meiotic progression.

CONCLUSIONS:

This C. elegans assay provides a comprehensive strategy for assessing environmental effects on germline function.

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