The Effects of Prilosec OTC™ on Gastric Health in Tetrahymena thermophila

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Authors
Nowlen, Maycee
Cabezas, Alexis
Advisor
Otto-Hitt, Stefanie
Editor
Date of Issue
2023-04-28
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Citation
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Title
The Effects of Prilosec OTC™ on Gastric Health in Tetrahymena thermophila
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Type
Presentation
Description
Abstract
Heartburn is defined as a burning sensation in the chest caused by stomach acid traveling up into the esophagus. This symptom is experienced by millions of people every day and has been linked to a variety of health-related factors including diet and weight. The most common treatment for heartburn is a class of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) that restrict production of stomach acids by the digestive glands. Omeprazole, also known as Prilosec OTC™, is the most widely used over-the-counter PPI. Despite their frequent usage, the potential adverse effects of PPIs are poorly understood. Recent research has revealed a correlation between the consistent use of PPIs and the development of gastric cancer, with the use of PPIs causing a threefold increase in the propensity for developing gastric malignancy (Abrahami, 2022). This study aims to further the research on this topic using the model organism Tetrahymena thermophila. It was hypothesized that consistent administration of Prilosec OTC™ to T. thermophila cultures would alter expression of the gastric cancer-related TKU80 and PA26 p53-induced (PA26) genes as measured by Reverse Transcription quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR). It was further hypothesized that Prilosec OTC™ would impact metabolic activity, cell growth, and feeding ability as determined using the behavioral assays of cell counting, vacuole staining, and deciliation. On account of the adverse effects of PPIs reported by prior research, it was predicted that there would be an upregulation of both TKU80 and PA26 along with inhibited feeding ability and increased cell growth and metabolic activity.
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Degree Awarded
Semester
Spring
Department
Biology