Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access



Second Department


Faculty Mentor

Jennifer King


Presented during the 25th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 21, 2023 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

The effects of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on society throughout the past decades has been widely studied and recognized. Despite the great progress of biomedical research in treating this disease, such as combined Antiretroviral Therapy (cART), the effects of HIV are still relevant and necessitate further study, particularly in the brain. Even with treatment, HIV is able to cross the blood brain barrier and lie dormant, later causing HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND). The brain’s immune system relies heavily upon specialized cells called microglia which neutralize threats by engulfing them in a process called phagocytosis. Our lab has shown that this phagocytic activity is heavily modified by the presence of the inflammatory protein Tat-1 which is found on HIV, thus implicating microglia in HAND. Our current research is concerned with establishing a primary microglia cell line harvested from aged mice to better match the conditions of HAND and other dementias in humans. We have conducted a full procedural drafting process based upon prior research and have found the most effective and efficient method of isolating and culturing these cells. We have also confirmed the identity of these cells through both western blots, and fluorescent immunocytochemistry targeting IBA1 and P2RY12, both common markers of Microglia. This research has wide reaching implications both for the health and treatment of individuals with HAND as well as for understanding more general mechanisms behind microglia involvement in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.


Available to Ursinus community only.