Date of Award

6-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs

Second Advisor

Dr. John Spitsbergen

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Duncan

Keywords

astrogliosis, astrocytes, zebrafish, peripheral, damage

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until

6-2021

Abstract

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), particularly if repetitive, cause massive disruptions of brain homeostasis, significant loss of neurons, and may result in death. Astrocytes are a type of cell that maintain brain homeostasis and neuronal health. Astrogliosis is a continuum of morphological and functional changes of astrocytes in response to damage. This can be neuroprotective or neurotoxic depending on the severity and type of injury. Global astrocyte scarring is typical of neurotoxic astrogliosis and is the source of secondary injury after TBIs. The adult zebrafish olfactory system is known for its capacity to recover from trauma, however, astrocytes in this system remain unexplored. Furthermore, it is unknown if astrogliosis will occur after repetitive damage to the periphery. This study examines this, and my hypothesis is that astrogliosis will occur. Indeed, it was shown that this does occur, but this process attenuated as the damage continued, and no scarring was evident. This is in contrast to what would be expected of mammalian astrocytes, which would have remained in their astrogliosis morphology and cause scarring. Since astrocytes are crucial mediators for recovery from trauma, further study of these cells in zebrafish may lead to novel medical treatments.

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