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Many people around the world currently suffer from hearing loss in some capacity due to the death or damage of hearing cells. Although humans are unable to regenerate hearing cells, as most mammals are unable to regenerate hair cells, non-mammal species like the zebrafish can. For my senior project, I will be conducting a research proposal that focuses on the relationship between zebrafish and their auditory senses, as well as their ability to regenerate damaged hearing cells. While the anatomy of the zebrafish species differs from humans, both species share many genetic pathways that can be used for developmental research on the inner ear. As shown through former studies, hair cell regeneration through the lateral line system works swiftly, as hair cell renewal begins to form as fast as the hair cell death occurs. One of the many factors that help to determine the number of renewed hair cells is the proliferative precursors, also known as Wnt signaling pathways and FGF signaling.
While it has been determined that Wnt signaling pathways function in regulating hair cell specification, cell cycle regulation, and hair cell orientation, scientists like Aaron B. Steiner have identified many genes that express a signaling pathway of some form that can contribute to the development of hair loss treatment; one of which is the gene known as Wnt3. The purpose of this research proposal is to analyze Wnt3 signaling pathways in zebrafish to determine if Wnt3 expression can function as a pathway for hair cell regeneration. In order to analyze this candidate gene, a proposal on the experimental process of Morpholino Knockdown analysis, DiAsp staining of hair cells, Tail Fin electroporation, along with statistical analysis, will be conducted to determine the rate of hair cell regrowth in zebrafish. For this study, the hypothesis is that Wnt3 expression in zebrafish functions as a precursor for early processes of development and hair cell regeneration.
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Blanco, Stephanie Rose, "Wnt3 Expression in Zebrafish as a pathway for Hair Cell Regeneration" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 21.
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