Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important molecule in cell metabolism. It is also a byproduct of many physiological processes. In humans, impaired lung function and lung diseases disrupt the body's ability to dispose of CO2 and elevate its levels in the body (hypercapnia). Animal models allow further understanding of how CO2 is sensed in the body and what are the physiological responses to high CO2 levels. This information can provide new strategies in the battle against the detrimental effects of CO2 accumulation in lung diseases. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides us with such a model animal due to its natural ability to sense and navigate through varying concentrations of CO2, as well as the fact that it can be genetically manipulated with ease. Here we describe the different methods used to measure the effects elevated levels of CO2 have on the molecular sensing mechanism and physiology of C. elegans.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIH Grant HL085534 , USA.
- C. elegans
- Pharyngeal pumping