Department

Veterinary Sciences and Neuroscience Program

First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Fox

Description

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that results from the atrophy of portions of the brain that control movement, cognition, and personality. Currently there is no therapeutic cure for HD. One change to the brain environment in HD affected individuals is neuroinflammation, this could drive HD progression, but the mechanism is not well understood. Microglial cells, the immune cells of the brain could be a main component of this neuroinflammation and can be activated by oxidative stress. The research team led by Dr. Fox has previously found that supplementation of neonatal mice with iron, worsens the effects of HD and promotes oxidative stress in brain. The aim of this project was to understand if neonatal iron supplementation in HD mice promotes microglial activation. Findings will be relevant to understanding human HD. The initial goal of the research was to validate the microglial cell staining and analysis methods in our own laboratory. We would then utilize these techniques to assess the effect of neonatal iron supplementation in HD and wild-type mice.

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Effect of Neonatal Iron Supplementation on Microglial Activation in Huntington’s Disease Mice

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that results from the atrophy of portions of the brain that control movement, cognition, and personality. Currently there is no therapeutic cure for HD. One change to the brain environment in HD affected individuals is neuroinflammation, this could drive HD progression, but the mechanism is not well understood. Microglial cells, the immune cells of the brain could be a main component of this neuroinflammation and can be activated by oxidative stress. The research team led by Dr. Fox has previously found that supplementation of neonatal mice with iron, worsens the effects of HD and promotes oxidative stress in brain. The aim of this project was to understand if neonatal iron supplementation in HD mice promotes microglial activation. Findings will be relevant to understanding human HD. The initial goal of the research was to validate the microglial cell staining and analysis methods in our own laboratory. We would then utilize these techniques to assess the effect of neonatal iron supplementation in HD and wild-type mice.