Electrophysiological analysis of neuronal and muscle function in C. elegans

Methods Mol Biol. 2006;351:175-92. doi: 10.1385/1-59745-151-7:175.


The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides numerous experimental advantages for the identification and characterization of genes required for the function of the nervous system. These advantages include forward and reverse genetic tractability, a relatively simple body plan with an invariant cellular lineage, and a fully sequenced and well-annotated genome. However, one limitation of C. elegans is the relative scarcity of electrophysiological data from excitable cells. To address this limitation, high-resolution cellular techniques for probing the roles of specific gene products in the C. elegans nervous system have been recently developed. This chapter will provide an overview of the technical requirements for patch-clamp electrophysiological analysis of C. elegans neurons and muscle cells, as well as provide some illustrative examples of insights gained from the pairing of electrophysiological techniques with molecular and genetic analysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques / methods