A glial ClC Cl channel mediates nose touch responses in C. elegans

Jesus Fernandez-Abascal, Christina K. Johnson, Bianca Graziano, Lei Wang, Nicole Encalada, Laura Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In touch receptors, glia and accessory cells play a key role in mechanosensation. However, the mechanisms underlying such regulation are poorly understood. We show, for the first time, that the chloride channel CLH-1 is needed in glia of C. elegans nose touch receptors for touch responses and for regulation of excitability. Using in vivo Ca2+ and Cl imaging, behavioral assays, and combined genetic and pharmacological manipulations, we show that CLH-1 mediates Cl flux needed for glial GABA inhibition of ASH sensory neuron function and for regulation of cyclic AMP levels in ASH neurons. Finally, we show that the rat ClC-2 channel rescues the clh-1 nose-touch-insensitive phenotype, underscoring conservation of function across species. Our work identifies a glial Cl channel as a novel regulator of touch sensitivity. We propose that glial CLH-1 regulates the interplay between Ca2+ and cAMP signaling in ASH neurons to control the sensitivity of the worm's nose touch receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-485.e7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2 2022


  • C. elegans
  • cAMP
  • ClC channels
  • GABA
  • glia
  • intracellular Ca2+
  • nociception
  • touch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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