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The Effects of Stress Stimuli on Pmec-4 Caenorhabditis elegans Mechanosensory Neurons Public

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Various natural mechanosensory stress factors have been studied as factor in the pathogenesis of different neurodegenerative diseases. Different mechanosensory stimulus leads to the alteration of protein signaling pathways that result in the degradation of neurons. The effects of stress on the bodies and neurons of worms are very similar to the same physical effects seen on human cells. This study conducts two separate experiments to observe how neurons can react to stress at different stages of life using a transgenic strain of Caenorhabditis elegans with green fluorescent protein tagged to the MEC-4 protein associated with soft touch stimulation. The first experiment looks at overall activity of the soft touch mechanosensory neurons following stress. The second experiment looks at trend in morphological abnormalities following the same stress stimuli. We saw that adult worms have more resilience against osmotic stress and recover function after a time lapse of stress stimulus. Younger stage worms show the opposite effect when flooded with excess acetylcholine. There were distinct changes in morphology of both the somatic body and axon of the select soft touch neurons (ALML) that could be characterized into five categories: pilling, somatic deformation, gastrointestinal bleeding, axonal straightening, and axonal waviness. These changes indicated intracellular damage result in swelling of the cell and alterations in membrane tension from mechanical stress

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
Last modified
  • 08/29/2021
  • E-project-032421-175428
  • 15831
  • 2021
Date created
  • 2021-03-24
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