PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCellular stress has been shown to increase with age, but the human body’s ability to respond to this stress decreases with age. Various forms of stress, including osmotic and heavy metal stress, are linked to a broad range of human disease. Age is the leading risk factors for many of these major morbidities, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, among others. Developing a better understanding of stress response pathways will allow targeted therapy for better treatment. Developing a better understanding of stress response pathways will allow targeted therapy for better treatment. Using the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model of study, I investigated the osmotic and heavy metal stress pathways by treating worms with sodium chloride (NaCl) and cadmium chloride (CdCl2), respectively. I first identified a target dose for each stressors that reduced lifespan by 50%, then I combined the stressors in order to observe their interaction. I found that 250mM NaCl and 1mM CdCl2 reduced C. elegans lifespan by roughly 50% individually. When these two stressors were combined, I observed an 85% reduction in lifespan, indicating that the stressors are activating different responses within the worms.
Degree ProgramMolecular and Cellular Biology