Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Biomolecular Sciences

First Advisor

NIcole Ashpole

Second Advisor

Jason Paris

Third Advisor

Gregg Roman

Relational Format



Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a neuroendocrine signaling hormone that plays a vital role in growth and development, as well as learning and memory. Inhibition of this hormone results in cognitive impairments like those seen with age-related decline. While a majority of research has focused on the role of IGF-1 on neurons, the role of astrocytes still needs to be explored. Our research investigates how astrocytes and cognition are affected as a result of direct regulation of localized IGF-1 production in early development and after puberty. Preliminary studies in our laboratory established a connection between IGF-1 and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and in this study we focused on understanding these changes in GFAP expression that resulted from astrocyte-derived IGF-1 deficiency. We hypothesized that mice with astrocyte-derived IGF-1 deficiency would have an increased number of GFAP positive (GFAP+) cells in the hippocampus, which is associated with cellular stress and cognitive dysfunction. The pre-pubertal astro-IGF1 deficient mice had no significant differences in behavior compared to wild-type. When tissue analysis of the post-pubertal astro-IGF1 deficient mice was analyzed utilizing GFAP+ astrocytes, there was a sex and region specific difference. The value of this research can be noted in its effort to determine the role astrocytic IGF-1 plays in development and cognition. By understanding what happens when astrocytic IGF-1 is removed, we can have a better understanding of the role astrocytes play in cognitive dysfunction.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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