Submission Date

7-21-2017

Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Department

Biology

Second Department

Neuroscience

Faculty Mentor

Ellen Dawley

Comments

Presented during the 19th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 21, 2017 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

A major participant in neural regeneration is Sox2, expressed in neural stem cells, which differentiate into neurons and neuroglia, contributing to central nervous system restoration. The axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, exhibits extensive spinal cord regeneration following tail amputation and is therefore an excellent model organism. In an attempt to quantify the upregulation of Sox2 at different regeneration times, I performed tail amputations on juvenile axolotls. Amputations were made at the two-day, four-day, seven-day, or fourteen-day regeneration mark. For the second phase of the experiment, I evaluated the effect of multiple regenerations on Sox2 expression, to see if it was negatively impacted. Following initial amputations (day 0) and the cut at day 4, I made additional amputations at days 7, 14 and 21. For both experimental groups, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy were used to identify Sox2 cells and mature neurons. I also looked for co-localization of Sox2 and neuron marker NeuN to potentially track the differentiation of the stem cells into neurons. Finally, I looked at Sox2 expression in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), when they were present, as these structures exhibit extensive regeneration following tail amputation. With this research I hope to enhance our understanding of the regeneration process and the roles and limitations of neural progenitor cells.

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