2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Undeclared
Mentor: H. Craig Heller (Biology)

“Effect of Pentylenetetrazole on Beta-Amyloid Plaque Aggregation in Alzheimer's Disease in the Ts65Dn Mouse Model of Down Syndrome”

Previous studies show that Down Syndrome increases the risk of developing early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Further studies have shown that the neurotransmitter (GABA) receptor inhibitor called pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) may restore cognitive function and mitigate GABA impairments that contribute to AD in mice. The purpose of this project is to analyze the impacts of PTZ on the onset of Alzheimer’s in a Down Syndrome (Ts65Dn) mouse model. Using the brains of control and Ts65Dn mice (age 12+ months) with either saline or PTZ, Natalie will use techniques including cryostat sectioning and beta-amyloid staining to histologically analyze the buildup of beta-amyloid deposits in the hippocampus and cerebellum. This experiment will help elucidate the effects of GABA receptor inhibition on AD progression in the context of Down Syndrome.