2019 Volume 64 Issue 2 Pages 53-59
Organisms are able to sense environmental information and must respond appropriately to live and proliferate. Information on environmental temperature is essential for organisms because temperature directly affects biochemical reactions and metabolism. Here, we review the molecular and physiological mechanisms responsible for cold tolerance and cold acclimation in a simple model animal, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Recent molecular-biological studies and neural calcium-imaging analyses have revealed novel concepts of cold tolerance in this animal. Most significantly, a light-sensing neuron (ASJ) acts as temperature-sensing neuron that regulates the intestine and sperm in the cold-tolerance pathway. Sperm regulates cold tolerance through negative feedback onto this temperature-sensing neuron.