Measurement of potential Parkinsonian Toxin uptake in C. elegans using HPLC and microscopy techniques
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Romero, Elmer. 2019. Measurement of potential Parkinsonian Toxin uptake in C. elegans using HPLC and microscopy techniques -- In Proceedings: 19th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 17
Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative disease that is prevalent in older generations and currently has no cure. Parkinson's is correlated to cell death in specific dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of humans. The death of these cells causes a decrease or even complete absence of dopamine in the brain which leads to impaired motor movement, rigidity, and tremors, which are defining characteristic symptoms of Parkinson's. This illness has been known to have a genetic component that makes people more prone to developing it, however, it has been found that environmental factors may play a greater role in development of the disease. One compound, 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), has been studied because it inhibits complex 1 in mitochondria, and has been found to cause oxidative damage in dopaminergic cells. MPP+ has since been used as a model for the environmental causes of PD and its mechanism of action hosts a variety of mysteries. Our research consists of studying the chemical uptake of MPP+ and its derivatives in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and how they lead to further degeneration of these dopaminergic neurons. In addition to uptake measurements via HPLC, microscopy is used to attest for uptake and neurological damage. The nematodes are assessed under the microscope and their axons are checked for blebbing, a bulge/protrusion in the plasma membrane indicating neuronal degeneration.
First place winner of poster presentations for Natural Sciences and Engineering at the 19th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 19, 2019.