Session 7, Abstract 39

DNA EXTRACTION FROM APTAMER-TREATED MICE AND REAL-TIME PCR ANALYSIS OF THE EXTRACTS

Katayoun Yazdi-Nejad* (Dr. Melanie Cocco), University of California, Irvine. Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, 3205 McGaugh Hall, Irvine, CA 92697

The inability of the axons in the central nervous system (CNS) to regenerate and regrow is the main reason why CNS injuries remain permanent and incurable. The complex of Nogo-A, a protein localized on the membrane of the oligodendrocytes, and NgR1, Nogo-A’s receptor on the axons, is known to cause inhibition of the axonal regeneration. In order to inhibit the formation of this complex, DNA aptamer sequences are designed to block Nogo-A and stop it from binding to NgR-1. After successful in vitro trials, this study is aiming at determining whether or not aptamers can be detected in the brain tissue of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) model mice that were retro-orbitally injected with the aptamer periodically after MS-disease onset. By using Real-Time PCR techniques, we were able to show that retro-orbital injection of the aptamers does not result in the presence of them in the brain tissue. This might be due to the presence of the blood brain barrier (BBB), which aptamers should pass before getting to the brain. For future research, it can be studied whether or not coupling the aptamers with BBB-penetrating proteins can successfully take the aptamers into the brain tissue and enhance the axonal regeneration.

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