471629 Quantitative Synaptic Aging Characterization in Caenorhabditis Elegans As a Neuronal Health Metric
In this study, we aim to better understand age-induced neuronal decline in C. elegans. In particular, we focus on morphological and functional characterization of synaptic connections. We apply quantitative high-throughput experimental platforms, which integrate microfluidics, computer vision, and automation, to obtain large data sets of multi-parametric characterization of synaptic sites. Morphological characterization is based on imaging a set of representative synaptic-localized fluorescent fusion proteins. Functional characterization is based on quantitative drug resistance and optogenetic stimulation. Through the combination of these quantitative platforms, we focus on elucidating the main changes that occur at synaptic connections in populations of animals at various points during their lifespan, and potential genetic, environmental, or activity-driven prevention strategies for age-induced neuronal decline.