Testing the role of exercise training for the physiological maintenance of the Drosophila testis stem cell niche

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Madhavan, Rahul
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2023-04-07
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Stem cell niches are microenvironments that feed stable signals to maintain stem cell physiology. The Drosophila testis stem cell niche called "the hub" is a well characterized system that regulates stem cell survival, maintenance, and aging. The effects of exercise and its role in the regulation of stem cell niches is unknown and could have profound implications for our understanding of stem cell health. This project aims to investigate the response of the JAK-STAT signaling pathway, a pro-stem cell homeostasis pathway in the testis niche, to exercise training. We will require an equipment called Power Tower (currently being constructed at the WSU GoCreate) to allow the flies to undergo three weeks of exercise training. Their exercise intensity will gradually increase from weeks 1 through 3. The training protocol takes advantage of the Drosophila's innate negative geotaxis ability (the directional movement against gravity) by forcing them to climb continuously in the container or until the apparatus is turned off. They will then have their stem cell number counted in the niche and compared against a control group of same-aged flies. We expect to test the hypothesis that exercise training will correlate with an upregulation of JAK-STAT signaling and an increase in stem cell viability within the treatment group. We will provide an overview of the experimental plan designed to test our hypothesis and preliminary data obtained during preparation for this study.

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Presented to the 22nd Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 7, 2023.
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Madhavan, Rahul. 2023. Testing the role of exercise training for the physiological maintenance of the Drosophila testis stem cell niche. -- In Proceedings: 22nd Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 10
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Wichita State University
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