Modeling neurodegenerative diseases in Caenorhabditis elegans

Jia Li, Weidong Le

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Neurodegenerative diseases which include Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington disease (HD), and others are becoming an increasing threat to human health worldwide. The degeneration and death of certain specific groups of neurons are the hallmarks of these diseases. Despite the research progress in identification of several disease-related genes, the mechanisms underlying the neurodegeneration in these diseases remain unclear. Given the molecular conservation in neuronal signaling between Caenorhabditis elegans and vertebrates, an increasing number of research scientists have used the nematode to study this group of diseases. This review paper will focus on the model system that has been established in C. elegans to investigate the pathogenetic roles of those reported disease-related genes in AD, PD, ALS, HD and others. The progress in C. elegans provides useful information of the genetic interactions and molecular pathways that are critical in the disease process, and may help better our understanding of the disease mechanisms and search for new therapeutics for these devastating diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-103
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Neurology
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Alzheimer's disease (AD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Huntington's disease (HD)
  • Model organism
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson's disease (PD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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