Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 2003

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

Biology

Abstract

Disruption of the cytoskeleton and axonal transport has been implicated in certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. It is not clear whether cytoskeletal and transport abnormalities playa causative role in neurodegeneration or whether they are simply byproducts of disrupted metabolism and signal transduction pathways in neurons undergoing apoptosis. Aluminum has been used to induce apoptosis in both in vivo and in vitro models of apoptosis that share many biochemical and pathological similarities to Alzheimer's disease. The specific aim of this project was to examine the effect that aluminum-induced apoptosis has on intracellular distribution of the endoplasmic reticulum. The results indicate that following aluminum treatment the endoplasmic reticulum is abnormally clustered around the nucleus, consistent with disruption of kinesin-dependent transport.

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