Effect of DMSO on lifespan and physiology in C. elegans : Implications for use of DMSO as a solvent for compound delivery

MicroPubl Biol. 2022 Sep 7:2022:10.17912/micropub.biology.000634. doi: 10.17912/micropub.biology.000634. eCollection 2022.


Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is a solvent that has been used for basic and medical research based on its ability to dissolve both polar and non-polar compounds. In order to use DMSO to deliver compounds that may impact longevity or neurodegeneration, it is important to first determine the effects of DMSO on aging and physiology. We examined the effect of different concentrations of DMSO on lifespan and development time in C. elegans. We found that DMSO concentrations up to 2% DMSO did not affect longevity in wild-type worms, while concentrations of up to 0.5% DMSO were compatible with normal development times. 0.5% DMSO also had minimal effect on fertility and movement. In summary, our results show that concentrations of DMSO up to 0.5% can be safely used to deliver compounds to C. elegans with little or no modifying effects on lifespan or physiologic rates.