C. elegans as a model organism to study female reproductive health




Athar, Faria
Templeman, Nicole M

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Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology


Female reproductive health has been historically understudied and underfunded. Here, we present the advantages of using a free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, as an animal system to study fundamental aspects of female reproductive health. C. elegans is a powerful high-throughput model organism that shares key genetic and physiological similarities with humans. In this review, we highlight areas of pressing medical and biological importance in the 21st century within the context of female reproductive health. These include the decline in female reproductive capacity with increasing chronological age, reproductive dysfunction arising from toxic environmental insults, and cancers of the reproductive system. C. elegans has been instrumental in uncovering mechanistic insights underlying these processes, and has been valuable for developing and testing therapeutics to combat them. Adopting a convenient model organism such as C. elegans for studying reproductive health will encourage further research into this field, and broaden opportunities for making advancements into evolutionarily conserved mechanisms that control reproductive function.



Breast and gynecologic cancers, Menopause, Nutrient-sensing signaling pathways, Oocyte quality, Reproductive aging, Toxicology


Athar F, Templeman NM. C. elegans as a model organism to study female reproductive health. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2022 Apr;266:111152.