Voelcker Academy

Research Symposium 2009


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Stephanie Gonzales

Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neuronal Precursors as a Potential Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease

Stephanie Gonzales

Mentor(s): Veronica Galvan Ph.D

Enhanced green florescent protein (EGFP) is derived from Aequorea victoria jellyfish. When excited with blue light, the protein releases photons allowing one to identify the cells containing the protein. In this study, EGFP is used to establish the migration, differentiation and integration of neuronal progenitors derived from embryonic stem cells (ESC). Mouse ESC (mESC) were generated by V. Galvan and colleagues from blastocyts arising from heterozygous crosses of transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of a housekeeping promoter (b-actin)(EGFP-mESC). The EGFP-mESC have a normal karyotype, are totipotent, and give rise to cells from the three embryonic layers after in vitro differentiation. In addition, EGFP-mESC generate neuronal precursors in vitro. Initial implantation experiments have shown that EGFP-derived neuronal precursors can migrate into and give rise to mature neurons in hippocampus.