APP and AβO Concentrations are Connected in Developing Chicken Embryos

Friday, February 12, 2016
Michael Qian, Illinois Math & Science Academy, Aurora, IL
Nathan Errampalli, Illinois Math & Science Academy, Aurora, IL
One of the major hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the presence of amyloid-β oligomers (AβO) in the human brain. Although the status quo is to use transgenic mice for modeling AD, chicken embryos are less costly, and the Aβ peptides in chicken are identical to that in humans, a trait that rodents do not have. In our study, we examined the relationship between avian brain amyloid precursor protein and AβO concentrations throughout the chicken embryo's development from 6 days to 14 days after fertilization (E6-E14). Eggs were grown with an incubator, and embryos were dissected for their brains when grown to the desired age. Each sample was homogenized, and bicinchoninic acid assays were performed to determine each samples overall protein level. Samples were diluted to the same concentration to allow for dot blot assays to be conducted to assess their concentrations of APP and AβO. Results show that the correlation between APP and AβO is statistically significant (p < 0.01), with concentrations increasing until day 9, followed by a continual decrease. Therefore, this model seems to have the potential to be used for observing the effects of Aβ toxicity and drug testing. Increased knowledge on this system will allow for more effective AD research using this model.