Name: Patrick Martin
Grade Grouping: 10-12
Team Size: 1 member
Subject Area: Health
Project Type: Experimental
Summary:Studies have shown that a build-up of alpha-synuclein occurs in Lewy Bodies, deposits commonly found in dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of Parkinson’s disease patients. Alpha-synuclein induces neuronal apoptosis when over expressed.
This experiment attempted to determine if the neurotoxin MPP+ induced apoptosis and alpha-synuclein expression in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and investigated whether the addition of guanosine, a purine nucleoside, prevented MPP+-induced alpha-synuclein expression.
It was hypothesized that neuroblastoma cells treated with MPP+ would show an increase in levels of alpha-synuclein expression and that cells treated with guanosine would have a lower alpha-synuclein expression.
An ELISA alpha-synuclein test and a BCA assay were performed using protein extracts from cells already treated with MPP+ and/or guanosine. Based on these results, the amount of alpha-synuclein relative to the amount of total protein was calculated. Statistical analysis using ANOVA showed no significance as the power of the performed test was below the desired power of 0.800. Assays performed showed that alpha-synuclein expression was highest in vehicular control samples (9.91439E-06 relative to amount of total protein) instead of in MPP+ samples. This was determined to have occurred because 500 micromoles was the exposure level used. This was thought to be more realistic for a disease model; however, previous studies used millimolar concentrations of MPP+.
Although results were not statistically significant, a lack of alpha-synuclein expression in samples treated with guanosine was observed. This experiment demonstrates the potential of guanosine as a therapeutic treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Software Tools: Macromedia Dreamweaver
Hardware Tools: Scanner, Digital Camera
Source of Idea: Research/Discussion with a neurologist
Special Skills: HTML
- Second Best in Fair at the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair
- Gold Medal at the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair
- Trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair
- Society for In Vitro Biology Award
- Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories Award
- Mohawk College Mathematics and Statistics Award
- National Science and Engineering Research Council Award
- City of Hamilton Mayor’s Award