ISG faculty Patrick Allard published a paper, “A C. elegans Screening Platform for the Rapid Assessment of Chemical Disruption of Germline Function” in the June edition of Environmental Health Perspectives.
Abstract: Despite the developmental impact of chromosome segregation errors, we lack the tools to assess environmental effects on the integrity of the germline in animals. Here, we report the development of an assay in C. elegans that fluorescently marks aneuploid embryos following chemical exposure. 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 endpoint data from the ToxRef database, The results of the assay was highly predictive of mammalian reproductive toxicities with a 69% maximum balanced accuracy. Finally, we confirmed the effect of select compounds on germline integrity by monitoring germline apoptosis and meiotic progression. We provide here a comprehensive strategy for the assessment of environmental effects on germline function.