Analysis of the Effects of Ashwagandha on Reactive Oxygen Species in T. thermophila

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Authors
Held, Benjamin
Romney, Kaiden
Advisor
Otto-Hitt, Stefanie
Editor
Date of Issue
2024
Subject Keywords
Publisher
Citation
Series/Report No.
item.page.identifier
Title
Analysis of the Effects of Ashwagandha on Reactive Oxygen Species in T. thermophila
Other Titles
Type
Presentation
Description
Abstract
Ashwagandha is a widely used homeopathic “adaptogen” with a myriad of advertised health benefits but little scientific evidence to support these claims. One proposed benefit is the reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROSs) through the action of the antioxidant, withanolide. ROSs are particularly dangerous to cells due to their ability to cause DNA damage and antioxidants help to repair this damage. For this research study, it was hypothesized that the antioxidant properties of Ashwagandha would reduce ROSs and prevent DNA damage in Tetrahymena thermophila that were exposed to the environmental stressor, UV-B light. To determine the effects of Ashwagandha on ROS-induced T. thermophila, expression of the genes UBC13 and CCP1 was measured as indicators of conjugation and ROS degradation, respectively. Furthermore, behavioral assays were conducted to monitor replication, feeding, and movement, all of which are indicators of metabolic rate and health. To test our hypothesis, T. thermophila were cultured in media either with or without Ashwagandha for 24 hours and then exposed to UV-B light to induce oxidative stress. Cell growth was monitored over the course of the 48-hour treatment period while cell metabolism and motility were measured at the end. Reverse Transcription quantitative-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) was performed to measure UBC13 and CCP1 expression. The presence of Ashwagandha in UV-B treated T. thermophila cultures was predicted to aid in their growth, metabolism, and motility, while also decreasing the expression of UBC13 and CCP1, all of which are indicative of cells with less ROS damage.
Sponsors
Degree Awarded
Semester
Department
Biology