Effects of Melatonin on Movement, Metabolism, and Growth in Blue Light-exposed Tetrahymena thermophila

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Authors
Winkler, Amaya
Eifler, Seth
Advisor
Otto-Hitt, Stefanie
Editor
Date of Issue
2023-04-28
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Title
Effects of Melatonin on Movement, Metabolism, and Growth in Blue Light-exposed Tetrahymena thermophila
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Presentation
Description
Abstract
As of 2016, 73 percent of young Americans suffered from symptoms related to blue light exposure including eye strain, sleep disruption, and difficulty focusing. This number has likely grown dramatically since 2016 given the increased use of blue light-emitting devices including cell phones, tablets, computers, and televisions. Blue light exposure has been shown to reduce the levels of melatonin in humans, which is an important regulator of our sleep-wake cycle. To further the research in this area, we investigated the effects of melatonin on cell growth and metabolism in the model organism, Tetrahymena thermophila, after exposing them to blue light. We hypothesized that blue light-exposed T. thermophila treated with melatonin would exhibit altered cell growth and movement along with changes in their metabolic function. To test our hypothesis, T. thermophila cells were exposed to blue light over a 48-hour period either in the presence or absence of 2.32E-6 mg/mL melatonin; the amount proportional to an average human. The effects of melatonin on cell growth was measured using a cell count assay and through analysis of the cell cycle control gene, CDC7, by Reverse Transcriptase quantitative-polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR). Furthermore, the impact of melatonin on metabolism was measured using both motility and deciliation assays along with quantifying expression of the BSU2 gene by RT-qPCR. The addition of melatonin to blue light-exposed T. thermophila was predicted to decrease cell growth, motility, and CDC7 gene expression while increasing protein metabolism and expression of BSU2.
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Semester
Spring
Department
Biology