Amphid sensory neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans orchestrate its survival from infection with broad classes of pathogens

Siddharth R. Venkatesh, Anjali Gupta, Varsha Singh (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

The survival of a host during infection relies on its ability to rapidly sense the invading pathogen and mount an appropriate response. The bacterivorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans lacks most of the traditional pattern recognition mechanisms. In this study, we hypothesized that the 12 pairs of amphid sensory neurons in the heads of worms provide sensing capability and thus affect survival during infection. We tested animals lacking amphid neurons to three major classes of pathogens, namely—a Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-positive bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, and a pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans. By using individual neuronal ablation lines or mutants lacking specific neurons, we demonstrate that some neurons broadly suppress the survival of the host and colonization of all pathogens, whereas other amphid neurons differentially regulate host survival during infection. We also show that the roles of some of these neurons are pathogen-specific, as seen with the AWB odor sensory neurons that promote survival only during infections with P. aeruginosa. Overall, our study reveals broad and specific roles for amphid neurons during infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202301949
JournalLife Science Alliance
Volume6
Issue number8
Early online date31 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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