Transcriptional Profiling of C. elegans Adult Cells and Tissues with Age

Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2144:177-186. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0592-9_16.


Multicellular organisms are composed of distinct cells and tissues that coordinate highly orchestrated responses to environmental challenges, including those that arise with age. Since C. elegans is a premier model system used to study the molecular and cellular regulators of adult and aging phenotypes, cell type- and tissue-specific approaches are needed to characterize the genome-wide expression changes associated with these responses. Here we describe a method for the FACS-based isolation and RNA sequencing of dissociated cells from adult C. elegans. This technique is amenable to profiling the cell- and tissue-specific gene expression changes in C. elegans mutants, including aging models, such as the daf-2/insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway, and in wild-type animals with age.

Keywords: Aging; Caenorhabditis elegans; Cell dissociation; FACS; RNA-seq; Transcriptional profiling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Receptor, Insulin / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Receptor, Insulin