Circadian stress tolerance in adult Caenorhabditis elegans

Sergio H. Simonetta, Andres Romanowski, Alicia N. Minniti, Nibaldo C. Inestrosa, Diego A. Golombek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Circadian rhythms control several behaviors through neural networks, hormones and gene expression. One of these outputs in invertebrates, vertebrates and plants is the stress resistance behavior. In this work, we studied the circadian variation in abiotic stress resistance of adult C. elegans as well as the genetic mechanisms that underlie such behavior. Measuring the stress resistance by tap response behavior we found a rhythm in response to osmotic (NaCl LC(50) = 340 mM) and oxidative (H(2)O(2) LC(50) = 50 mM) shocks, with a minimum at ZT0 (i.e., lights off) and ZT12 (lights on), respectively. In addition, the expression of glutathione peroxidase (C11E4.1) and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gpdh-1) (genes related to the control of stress responses) also showed a circadian fluctuation in basal levels with a peak at night. Moreover, in the mutant osr-1 (AM1 strain), a negative regulator of the gpdh-1 pathway, the osmotic resistance rhythms were masked at 350 mM but reappeared when the strain was treated with a higher NaCl concentration. This work demonstrates for the first time that in the adult nematode, C. elegans stress responses vary daily, and provides evidence of an underlying rhythmic gene expression that governs these behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-828
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2008


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • circadian rhythm
  • stress
  • osmotic
  • oxidative
  • oxidative stress
  • gene-expression
  • life-span
  • behavior
  • nematode
  • metabolism
  • responses
  • rhythms
  • damage
  • clock


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