Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


Neutrophic factors (NTFs) are brain glycoproteins that aid neuronal cell innervation and survival. Such proteins may have therapeutic applications for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and stroke. Since each of these pathological conditions is associated with an increase in neuronal oxidative stress, the purpose of this MQP was to test the hypothesis that neurotrophic factors act by upregulating the expression of antioxidative enzymes that alleviate this stress. Immunoblots were used to assay cellular increases in superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (Cat) in primary neuronal cell cultures, and in mouse brain, lung and heart in vivo. The results presented here indicate that treatment of model animals with therapy peptides does indeed upregulate the antioxidative enzymes SOD and catalase. Furthermore, combining the therapy peptides with a BBB-carrier increases the upregulation of SOD and catalase in all tissues examined, not just the brain.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2001



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology