Class Year

2020

Date

4-17-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

Yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Neuroscience

First Advisor

Shubhik K. DebBurman

Second Advisor

Robert A. Marr, Rosalind Franklin University

Third Advisor

Benjamin E. Zeller

Abstract

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), the world’s most common neurodegenerative disorder, remains without effective treatment or cure. While animal models have helped understand AD pathogenesis, failures of multiple phase 3 clinical trials make alternate AD models an urgent need. The advent of human induced neuron (HiN) technology has made modelling AD in human cells feasible. In fact, a direct reprogramming method of converting diseased and healthy patient fibroblasts into HiNs is now possible, without the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) yet preserving the epigenetic characteristics of patient fibroblasts. Using this method, we found that: 1) human fibroblasts can be directly converted into HiNs; 2) such HiNs exhibit disease-specific electrophysiological properties; 3) they preserve aspects of AD pathology and aging deficits; 4) and it is optimizable. Our results support the notion that direct reprogramming is a valid model of AD, and optimizable for more reliable resemblance to a human neuron.

Language

English

Available for download on Saturday, April 24, 2021


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