Adams, David S.
Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) are brain glycoproteins that support neuronal cell survival and regeneration, thus they have potential therapeutic application for various neurodegenerative conditions. The purpose of this MQP, performed in collaboration with Ceremedix Inc., was to test the hypothesis that NFTs help assuage the destructive neuronal oxidative stress associated with stroke and help to increase the life span of older animals by inducing the expression of beneficial anti-oxidative enzymes. Small peptides were designed to mimic the action of NTFs, then coupled to DHA to allow penetration across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Mice were treated i.v. with various doses of the peptides, then brain and heart were excised. Total cellular lysates were analyzed by immunoblots to assay changes in total cellular levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD). The data obtained to date indicate that several of the designed peptides do indeed increase total cellular levels of SOD by as much as 4.8 fold.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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Biology and Biotechnology