Date Assignment Submitted
Cadmium is a neurotoxic chemical widely distributed within our environments, persevering for long periods. It can be found in cigarettes, batteries, plastics, and other products used daily. Exposure to cadmium can have toxic effects, altering the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the ability of cells to detoxify and repair the damage. Its accumulation can cause organ damage, cancer, respiratory and reproductive toxicity, and neurological defects. Planaria regeneration is a complex biological process that involves the activation of stem cells, called neoblasts, to regenerate lost tissues and organs. Neoblasts can divide and differentiate into various cell types, allowing planaria to rapidly regrow lost body parts, including the head and tail. Research has suggested that ROS play a critical role in this process. However, if an overproduction occurs, oxidative stress can inhibit regeneration. A trunk fragment assay will be conducted on Girardia dorotocephala to monitor the progression of head regeneration over a two-week period. This assay will be used in future work, exposing planarians to varying concentrations of cadmium chloride. Exposure to high levels of cadmium is said to inhibit blastema repair, so introducing the flatworms to an antioxidant should cause a rescuing effect and progress its regeneration. Antioxidants mitigate damages by neutralizing ROS by donating an electron to stabilize oxidative stress and enhance regenerative capacity. The study of planarian regeneration holds great promise for developing regenerative medicine approaches for humans.
Lynn University Student Research Symposium
Boca Raton, FL
College of Arts and Sciences
Gonzalez, N., Dolcine, R., & Korte, C. S. (2023, April 7). Effect of cadmium exposure on planarian regeneration [Poster presentation]. Lynn University Student Research Symposium, Boca Raton, FL, United States.