Abigail Carlson

Exercise Induced Neurogenesis Using A Crayfish Model System

Neurogenesis is the formation of new neurons from neural stem cells that occurs throughout adulthood in a variety of animals, including humans. Exercise enhances cell proliferation in mammals, and has been linked to ameliorating age associated declines in memory. Since the nervous system operates under common rules and themes in both vertebrates and invertebrates, our experiment aims to observe the effects of exercise on the simpler nervous system of invertebrates using BrdU, which labels newly synthesized DNA and indicates cell proliferation. Multiple factors involved in sample preparation, preservation in paraffin, and sectioning via microtome created various challenges. Our fundamental focus has been centered on mastering these techniques, as it is crucial to eliminate any variability that might affect our results. After much practice and troubleshooting, we have recently obtained viable brain tissue sections and are currently progressing to the exercise phase of our project.

Faculty Mentor: Dan Bergman, Biomedical Science

Page last modified March 21, 2014