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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

ACTIVATION OF MAP KINASES IN RESPONSE TO OXIDATIVE STRESS IN EMBRYONIC ZEBRAFISH**

Abstract

Pycnogenol is a potent antioxidant made from pine bark extracts and is touted with numerous health benefits. Rotenone is a mitochondrial inhibitor which increases free radical oxygen species and has been used in animal models to mimic neurologic defects such as apoptosis in an effort to understand the etiology of Parkinson’s disease. The MAP kinases, including ERK1/2, are known to be activated in response to changes in cell redox balance. In this study, we plan to use embryonic zebrafish treated with rotenone to observe whether activation of the MAP kinases occurs in response to such treatment and whether pycnogenol can inhibit these effects. In preliminary studies using one day old embryos, we have examined the activation of ERK1/2 in response to periods of anoxia with and without reperfusion (to alter redox balance) and have found that activation of ERK1/2 varies with such treatment. The activation of ERK1, and to a lesser extent ERK2, (as determined by Western blots) appears to be decreased following 15 minutes of anoxia (exposure to nitrogen gas instead of room air) yet are not altered or slightly increased in response to 15 minutes of anoxia followed by 2.5 hours of reperfusion with room air. Little, if any, difference was noted between embryos pretreated with or without pycnogenol under the conditions of anoxia or anoxia followed by reperfusion.

Acknowledgements

YHC Undergraduate Research Initiative

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