Donielle Ford

Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Biology

First Advisor

Alamelu Sundaresan


Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and although cost effective interventions are available to reduce the burden of arthritis, they are currently underused. The goal of this project is to study and test natural compounds on their selective ability to improve lymphocyte function in lymphocyte function deficit model such as microgravity. A model such as this would provide a test bed to test different compounds on diseases involving osteoblast and immune dysfunction and identify biomakers in inflammation. The hypothesis of this project is that the effects of natural compounds on lymphocytes and osteoblast in modeled microgravity will increase cell growth and regulation in inflammatory diseases. To test this hypothesis cells will be cultured using a rotating-wall culture system that will model some aspects' of microgravity (mg). The preliminary testing and optimization for this project will be 1 2 performed using isoflavones and nucleotides. Scanning electron micrographs (SEM) of treated and untreated lymphocytes will also be performed. Gene arrays will be used for ge� expression. Results show that in lymphocytes with no nucleotide treatment cells appear stressed and pinched looking. Cell size is reduced and there appears to be erosion of. cell structure. In contrast in nucleotide treated lymphocytes, cells were rounded and healthier looking. There was a significant increase in isoflavones treated osteoblast growth compared to cells. In conclusion, since the lymphocyte is the primordial cell affected in inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, these were investigated for inflammation related gene expression. Inflammatory and oxidative stress inducers were significantly up-regulated in model microgravity. In human lymphocytes fold change above '1' are considered significant since these are normal cells and not transformed. This corroborates results seen in other laboratories both in analog microgravity and spaceflight