A liquid phase based C. elegans behavioral analysis system identifies motor activity loss in a nematode Parkinson's disease model

J Neurosci Methods. 2012 Mar 15;204(2):234-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2011.11.015. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


Motor activity of Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used to study the mechanisms ranging from basic neuronal functions to human neurodegenerative diseases. It may also serve as a paradigm to screen for potential therapeutic reagents treating these diseases. Here, we developed an automated, 96-well plate and liquid phase based system that quantifies nematode motor activity in real time. Using this system, we identified an adult-onset, ageing-associated motor activity loss in a transgenic nematode line expressing human pathogenic G2019S mutant LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2), the leading genetic cause of Parkinson's disease characterized by dopaminergic neurodegeneration associated motor deficient mainly in elder citizens. Thus, our system may be used as a platform to screen for potential therapeutic drugs treating Parkinson's disease. It can also be used to monitor motor activity of nematodes in liquid phase at similar scenario.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Electronic Data Processing / instrumentation
  • Electronic Data Processing / methods
  • Glutamic Acid / genetics
  • Humans
  • Leucine-Rich Repeat Serine-Threonine Protein Kinase-2
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Motor Activity / genetics
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Serine / genetics
  • Software


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Serine
  • Levodopa
  • LRRK2 protein, human
  • Leucine-Rich Repeat Serine-Threonine Protein Kinase-2
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases