Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The Effect of Aging on Angiogenesis in RPE Cells

Class

Article

College

College of Science

Faculty Mentor

Elizabeth Vargis

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)is the leading cause of blindness in adults. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Wet AMD, also known as neovascular macular degeneration, occurs when vascular cells beneath the retina begin to grow, disrupting the nutrient supply chain to the photoreceptors, essentially starving and killing them. The exact cause of the abnormal growth of the new vascular cells, known as neovascularization or angiogenesis, is still unknown. However, this disease usually occurs in adults, which indicates that the cause is related to aging. Therefore, it is very important to discover the role that aging plays in the onset of the disease. This research project involved conducting three sets of experiments. Each set of experiments highlighted a different aspect of aging: ultraviolet radiation, oxidative stress, and mechanical stress. These three conditions were chosen because exposure to these stimuli is likely to result in damage that can accumulate over time. Additionally, a lot of the research on AMD has focused on these three stimuli. After exposure, cell samples from each trial were tested for specific proteins and cellular structures. More specifically, the cells were tested for the strength of the tight junction formation, the tight junction protein ZO-1, the structural protein actin, and the angiogenic factor VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). Previous research in the lab I work in had linked a decrease in tight junction formation (tight junctions occur between neighboring RPE cells) to an increase in VEGF production. Overall, based on my results, tight junctions or VEGF expression was effected in each trial, so further research into any or all of these stimuli may prove beneficial for a greater understanding of Wet AMD.

Location

The North Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

4-12-2018 11:45 AM

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Apr 12th, 10:30 AM Apr 12th, 11:45 AM

The Effect of Aging on Angiogenesis in RPE Cells

The North Atrium

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)is the leading cause of blindness in adults. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Wet AMD, also known as neovascular macular degeneration, occurs when vascular cells beneath the retina begin to grow, disrupting the nutrient supply chain to the photoreceptors, essentially starving and killing them. The exact cause of the abnormal growth of the new vascular cells, known as neovascularization or angiogenesis, is still unknown. However, this disease usually occurs in adults, which indicates that the cause is related to aging. Therefore, it is very important to discover the role that aging plays in the onset of the disease. This research project involved conducting three sets of experiments. Each set of experiments highlighted a different aspect of aging: ultraviolet radiation, oxidative stress, and mechanical stress. These three conditions were chosen because exposure to these stimuli is likely to result in damage that can accumulate over time. Additionally, a lot of the research on AMD has focused on these three stimuli. After exposure, cell samples from each trial were tested for specific proteins and cellular structures. More specifically, the cells were tested for the strength of the tight junction formation, the tight junction protein ZO-1, the structural protein actin, and the angiogenic factor VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). Previous research in the lab I work in had linked a decrease in tight junction formation (tight junctions occur between neighboring RPE cells) to an increase in VEGF production. Overall, based on my results, tight junctions or VEGF expression was effected in each trial, so further research into any or all of these stimuli may prove beneficial for a greater understanding of Wet AMD.