Detection of Caenorhabditis elegans Germ Cell Apoptosis Following Exposure to Environmental Contaminant Mixtures: A Crude Oil-Dispersant Mixture Example.Methods Mol Biol. 2021; 2326:3-18.MM
Crude oil disasters, such as the Deepwater Horizon accident, have caused severe environmental contamination and damage, affecting the health of marine and terrestrial organisms. Some previous studies have demonstrated cleanup efforts using chemical dispersant induced more potent toxicities than oil alone due to an increase in bioavailability of crude oil components, such as PAHs. However, there still lacks a systematic procedure that provides methods to determine genotypic and phenotypic changes following exposure to environmental toxicants or toxicant mixture, such as dispersed crude oil. Here, we describe methods for identifying a mechanism of dispersed crude oil-induced reproductive toxicity in the model organisms, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Due to the genetic malleability of C. elegans, two mutant strains outlined in this chapter were used to identify a pathway responsible for inducing apoptosis: MD701 bcIs39 [lim-7p::ced-1::GFP + lin-15(+)], a mutant strain that allows visualization of apoptotic bodies via a green fluorescent protein fused to CED-1; and TJ1 (cep-1(gk138) I.), a p53/CEP-1 defective strain that is unable to activate apoptosis via the p53/CEP-1 pathway. In addition, qRT-PCR was utilized to demonstrate the aberrant expression of apoptosis (ced-13, ced-3, ced-4, ced-9, cep-1, dpl-1, efl-1, efl-2, egl-1, egl-38, lin-35, pax-2, and sir-2.1) and cytochrome P450 (cyp14a3, cyp35a1, cyp35a2, cyp35a5, and cyp35c1) protein-coding genes following exposure to dispersed crude oil. The procedure outlined here can be applicable to determine whether environmental contaminants, most of time contaminant mixture, cause reproductive toxicity by activation of the proapoptotic, p53/CEP-1 pathway.