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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2014, Article ID 705253, 9 pages
Review Article

Caenorhabditis elegans: A Useful Model for Studying Metabolic Disorders in Which Oxidative Stress Is a Contributing Factor

1Laboratory of Experimental Nutrition, National Institute of Pediatrics, 04530 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
2Laboratory of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Pediatrics, 04530 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
3Department of Biology, Faculty of Chemistry, University City, UNAM, 04150 Mexico City, DF, Mexico

Received 13 February 2014; Revised 25 April 2014; Accepted 29 April 2014; Published 18 May 2014

Academic Editor: Xiaoqian Chen

Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Moreno-Arriola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism that is invaluable for experimental research because it can be used to recapitulate most human diseases at either the metabolic or genomic level in vivo. This organism contains many key components related to metabolic and oxidative stress networks that could conceivably allow us to increase and integrate information to understand the causes and mechanisms of complex diseases. Oxidative stress is an etiological factor that influences numerous human diseases, including diabetes. C. elegans displays remarkably similar molecular bases and cellular pathways to those of mammals. Defects in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling pathway or increased ROS levels induce the conserved phase II detoxification response via the SKN-1 pathway to fight against oxidative stress. However, it is noteworthy that, aside from the detrimental effects of ROS, they have been proposed as second messengers that trigger the mitohormetic response to attenuate the adverse effects of oxidative stress. Herein, we briefly describe the importance of C. elegans as an experimental model system for studying metabolic disorders related to oxidative stress and the molecular mechanisms that underlie their pathophysiology.