Role of CYP eicosanoids in the regulation of pharyngeal pumping and food uptake in Caenorhabditis elegans

Yiwen Zhou, John R. Falck, Michael Rothe, Wolf Hagen Schunck, Ralph Menzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent eicosanoids comprise epoxy- and hydroxy-metabolites of long-chain PUFAs (LC-PUFAs). In mammals, CYP eicosanoids contribute to the regulation of cardiovascular and renal function. Caenorhabditis elegans produces a large set of CYP eicosanoids; however, their role in worm's physiology is widely unknown. Mutant strains deficient in LC-PUFA/eicosanoid biosynthesis displayed reduced pharyngeal pumping frequencies. This impairment was rescued by long-term eicosapentaenoic and/or arachidonic acid supplementation, but not with a nonmetabolizable LC-PUFA analog. Short-term treatment with 17,18-epoxyeicosatetraenoic acid (17,18-EEQ), the most abundant CYP eicosanoid in C. elegans, was as effective as long-term LC-PUFA supplementation in the mutant strains. In contrast, 20-HETE caused decreased pumping frequencies. The opposite effects of 17,18-EEQ and 20-HETE were mirrored by the actions of neurohormones. 17,18-EEQ mimicked the stimulating effect of serotonin when added to starved worms, whereas 20-HETE shared the inhibitory effect of octopamine in the presence of abundant food. In wild-type worms, serotonin increased free 17,18-EEQ levels, whereas octopamine selectively induced the synthesis of hydroxy-metabolites. These results suggest that CYP eicosanoids may serve as second messengers in the regulation of pharyngeal pumping and food uptake in C. elegans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2110-2123
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015



  • 17,18-epoxyeicosatetraenoic acid
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Fatty acid
  • Lipidomics
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Pharynx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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