Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Biomedical Engineering

Advisor

Balachandran, Kartik

Reader

Muldoon, Timothy

Second Reader

Wolchok, Jeff

Abstract

Recent studies have revealed that elevated levels of serotonin or 5HT lead to valve dysfunction. A mouse model was successfully established to investigate the effects on the aortic valve in subjects with elevated 5HT levels along with cardiovascular hypertension. For each two-week trial, eight C57BL/6J mice were divided into the following expermental groups: control, 5HT, angiotensin II, and 5HT+angiotensin II. The drug was delivered to the mice via osmotic pumps (Ang II: 0.4ng/g/min, 5HT:0.0025ng/g/min) or direct injections(Ang II: 0.1 mg, 5HT: 2.12 mg, every other day) and the blood pressure of the mice was continually monitored via the CODA tail cuff system. The direct injection model was determined to be a more effective model as the drug delivery was more controllable and there were far less adverse events with the mice. At the end of two weeks, the mice were sacrificed and one heart from each group was used for western blotting and the other for histology. Western blotting for the 5HT2A/2B receptors, along with FGF-1, FGF-2, FGF-R1 revealed some trends, but more trials are needed to confirm the significance of these trends. Future studies using this model could successfully reveal the mechanism by which elevated 5HT levels can lead to a diseased aortic valve when under high mechanical stress.

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