Current methods in quantifying ROS and oxidative damage in Caenorhabditis elegans and other model organism of aging

Accumulation of oxidative damage has been proposed to be causal to aging as defined by the Free radical Theory of Aging, which has been subject to recent debate. However, a major hurdle in understanding the biological roles of reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling and their oxidative damage has been the widely recognized methodological difficulties to measure oxidative damage and ROS in vivo. In this review we describe the various novel approaches that have recently been developed to overcome this challenge in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which is a paradigm invertebrate model organism for studying aging and age-related disease given its short lifespan, easy genetics and transparency. In addition, we also discuss these methods in other important model organisms of aging, including the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and the mouse Mus musculus. After an introduction on the various ROS that can be encountered, we discuss approaches for the detection and quantification of ROS and ROS damage of DNA, lipids and proteins, highlighting examples from literature to demonstrate the applicability and caveats of each method. As will become clear, combinations of approaches have now become possible and will prove essential for thoroughly understanding the involvement of ROS and ROS damage in the biology of aging and disease.

C.F. Labuschagne, A.B. Brenkman
Authors from the NMC: 
2013; 12 (4): 918-930
Published in: 
Ageing Research Reviews
Date of publication: 
September, 2013
Status of the publication: