Novel in vivo experimental viability assays with high sensitivity and throughput capacity using a bdelloid rotifer

Zita Olah, Ashley I. Bush, David Aleksza, Bence Galik, Eszter Ivitz, Lilla Macsai, Z. Janka, Zoltan Karman, Janos Kalman, Zsolt Datki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Rotifers have been used in biological research as well-characterized models of aging. Their multi-organ characters and their sensitivity for chemicals and environmental changes make them useful as in vivo toxicological and lifespan models. Our aim was to create a bdelloid rotifer model to use in high-throughput viability and non-invasive assays. In order to identify our species Philodina acuticornis odiosa (PA), 18 S rDNA-based phylogenetic analysis was carried out and their species-specific morphological markers identified. To execute the rotifer-based experiments, we developed an oil-covered water-drop methodology adapted from human in vitro fertilization techniques. This enables toxicological observations of individual one-housed rotifers in a closed and controllable micro-environment for up to several weeks. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and sodium azide (NaN3) exposures were used as well-understood toxins. The toxicity and survival lifespan (TSL), the bright light disturbance (BLD) the mastax contraction frequency (MCF) and the cellular reduction capacity (CRC), indices were recorded. These newly developed assays were used to test the effects of lethal and sublethal doses of the toxins. The results showed the expected dose-dependent decrease in indices. These four different assays can either be used independently or as an integrated system for studying rotifers. These new indices render the PA invertebrate rotifer model a quantitative system for measuring viability, toxicity and lifespan (with TSL), systemic reaction capacity (with BLD), organic functionality (with MCF) and reductive capability of rotifers (with CRC), in vivo. This novel multi-level system is a reliable, sensitive and replicable screening tool with potential application in pharmaceutical science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017


  • 18 S rDNA
  • Bdelloid
  • Culturing
  • High throughput assay
  • Mastax
  • Oil-drop method
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pharmacological model
  • Philodina acuticornis odiosa
  • Rotifer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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