Metabolic effects of manganese in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans through DAergic pathway and transcription factors activation

Priscila Gubert, Bruna Puntel, Tassia Lehmen, Joshua P. Fessel, Pan Cheng, Julia Bornhorst, Lucas Siqueira Trindade, Daiana S. Avila, Michael Aschner, Felix A.A. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace element for physiological functions since it acts as an enzymatic co-factor. Nevertheless, overexposure to Mn has been associated with a pathologic condition called manganism. Furthermore, Mn has been reported to affect lipid metabolism by mechanisms which have yet to be established. Herein, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to examine Mn's effects on the dopaminergic (DAergic) system and determine which transcription factors that regulate with lipid metabolism are affected by it. Worms were exposed to Mn for four hours in the presence of bacteria and in a liquid medium (85 mM NaCl). Mn increased fat storage as evidenced both by Oil Red O accumulation and triglyceride levels. In addition, metabolic activity was reduced as a reflection of decreased oxygen consumption caused by Mn. Mn also affected feeding behavior as evidenced by decreased pharyngeal pumping rate. DAergic neurons viability were not altered by Mn, however the dopamine levels were significantly reduced following Mn exposure. Furthermore, the expression of sbp-1 transcription factor and let-363 protein kinase responsible for lipid accumulation control was increased and decreased, respectively, by Mn. Altogether, our data suggest that Mn increases the fat storage in C. elegans, secondary to DAergic system alterations, under the control of SBP-1 and LET-363 proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Dopaminergic system
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Manganese
  • Manganism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolic effects of manganese in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans through DAergic pathway and transcription factors activation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this