Investigating the Neuroprotective Effects of 5-hydroxy-2-(2-phenylethyl)chromone in a Glutamate Excitoxicity Model of Caenorhabditis elegans
Ervin, McKinzie L.
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Neurodegenerative diseases are conditions that result in an inability to control one’s movements and/or the degeneration in mental functioning due to the deterioration of nerve cells. One suggested mechanism behind this neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases is based on glutamate excitotoxicity in which excess glutamate levels induces apoptosis of the neuronal cell. Glutamate antagonists have been shown to be unsuccessful in modulating cellular glutamate levels thus creating a need for novel treatment types such as modulation of serotonin (5-HT) receptors which work upstream of glutamate and control its release. In this experiment, the neuroprotective effects of a 5-HT receptor antagonist, 5-hydroxy-2-(2-phenylethyl)chromone (5- HPEC), against glutamate toxicity was investigated through the use of an excitotoxicity model in the organism Caenorhabditis elegans. The neuroprotective effect of 5-HPEC was determined by counting the number of necrotic neurons in the head of each animal using differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. From this data, it was discovered that treatment with 2.5 mM 5-HPEC did not significantly decrease the number of necrotic neurons in the animals. Although the results were not significant, following treatment with 2.5 mM 5-HPEC, a decreasing trend was seen in the number of necrotic neurons in the N2A, CB6193, and JCB169 strains as compared to the control conditions and in the ZB1102 strain as compared to the DMSO condition.