Date of Thesis

2013

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Ken Field

Abstract

Farnesyltransferase Inhibitors (FTIs) are a class of drugs known to prevent the farnesylation and subsequent membrane attachment of a number of intracellular proteins. In various studies, the administration of FTIs has been found to play a role in the activation and development of T-cells in the immune system. FTIs have also been found to act as immunomodulators in delaying MHC-II mismatched skin allografts in mice. This study focuses on the effect of the FTI, ABT-100, on the differentiation and cytokine secretion of Th1 and Th2 helper T-cells in BALB/C mice to better understand which immune responses are targeted by FTIs. Splenocytes were isolated from BALB/C mice, skewed towards either a Th1 or a Th2 phenotype with the addition of cytokines, and treated with various concentrations of ABT-100. Splenocytes were also isolated and immediately cultured in the presence of ABT-100 to observe differentiation trends of helper T-cells. Cytokine production was measured using intracytoplasmic flow cytometry analysis. I found that ABT-100 treatment does not block Th1 or Th2 cell differentiation. Instead, ABT-100 treatment appears to affect cytokine production from effector T-cells. I found that ABT-100 causes a decrease in IFN-¿ production in mature Th1 cells yet does not affect IL-4 production in mature Th2 cells. This decrease in cytokine production as a result of ABT-100 treatments provides a potential mechanism for how ABT-100 works to delay MHC-II mismatched allograft rejection.

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