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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.
Dykie, Adam G., "Assessing Sox2 Expression in the Spinal Cord of Ambystoma mexicanum During Single and Multiple Regenerations" (2017). Biology Summer Fellows. 48.
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