We examined the impact of early-life exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) on Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) pdr-1 mutants, addressing gene-environment interactions. We tested the hypothesis that early-life exposure to MeHg and knockout (KO) of pdr-1 (mammalian: parkin/PARK2) exacerbates MeHg toxicity and damage to the dopaminergic (DAergic) system. pdr-1KO worms showed increased lethality and decreased lifespan following MeHg exposure. Mercury (Hg) content, measured with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry was increased in pdr-1KO worms compared to wildtype (N2) controls. 2′7′ dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate assay revealed a significant increase in reactive oxygen species in both strains following MeHg exposure; however, while N2 worms showed an increase in skn-1 transcript levels following MeHg exposure, there was no difference in skn-1 induction in pdr-1KO worms. Dopamine-dependent behavioral analysis revealed an effect of MeHg on N2 wildtype worms, but no effect on pdr-1KO worms. Taken together, these results suggest that pdr-1KO worms are more sensitive to MeHg than wildtype worms, but MeHg does not exacerbate behavioral changes related to the absence of pdr-1.
- Early-life exposure
- Large amino acid transporter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience