Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Open Access Thesis
Molecular & Cellular Biology
Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Although the exact cause of MS is unknown, it is clear that CD4+ T helper cells play a significant role, namely T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 17 (Th17) cells. The Notch family of proteins plays a role in the development and differentiation of T helper cells. Previous data has shown that inhibition of Notch impairs the ability of T helper cell differentiation. Additionally specific inhibition of certain Notch members inhibits specific T helper cell differentiation, for example the inhibition of Notch 1 inhibits Th1 and iTreg polarization [Samon et al., 2008]. However, the effects of the other Notch family members on CD4+ T cells are not fully studied. We propose that Notch 3 plays an extensive role in the regulation of Th1, Th2, Th17, and iTreg polarizations. In addition, we propose that Notch 3 regulates function of T helper cell function in the mouse model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Data in this thesis show that Notch 3 plays a significant role in the polarization of Th1, Th17 and iTreg polarization [Karlsson et al., 2011]. We present evidence that the heterozygous and homozygous Notch 3 knockout exhibits a significant decrease in polarization toward Th1, Th17 and iTreg cell fates.
Exopolysaccharide (EPS) is a compound that has been previously shown to play a protective role in other inflammatory diseases. EPS has been shown to produce anti-inflammatory macrophages. We propose that a similar anti-inflammatory effect might be possible in EAE. We found that EPS had a significant effect on EAE induction, decreasing the onset and peak disease score. EPS also reduced the concentration of IFN-γ, IL17A, and GM-CSF in the supernatants of the splenocytes after restimulation with MOG. Further experimental data is needed to prove the effects of EPS on EAE and the method by which EPS function. These data indicate that Notch 3 could be crucial in regards to EAE due to the effects on Th1 and Th17 which are instrumental in EAE induction [Raphael et al., 2015].
Barbara A Osborne
Munshi, Manit Nikhil, "Modulation of Notch in an Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis" (2016). Masters Theses. 437.