31. The Effect of Walnut Extract on Border Cell and Centripetal Cell Migration in the developing Drosophila melanogaster Egg Chamber

Kiran Kaur Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Lindsay Lewellyn Butler University
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world; therefore, it is important to try to identify novel treatments that effectively treat this condition with minimal side effects. Many researchers have turned to more natural cancer remedies, such as extracts from curcumin, theaflavins, and others. In particular, walnut extracts contain an abundant amount of antioxidants and phytosterols which have the potential of slowing tumor growth by inhibiting cell growth and inducing apoptotic death. Studies suggest that mice with cancerous cells who consumed walnuts as a daily dietary supplement showed reduced cancer cell proliferation. Our study uses the Drosophila melanogaster egg chamber as a model system to test the effect of walnut extract on invasive cell migration. During normal egg formation, two groups of cells - the border cells and the centripetal cells - migrate from the outer epithelial layer of cells into the germ cell cluster. Because cancer cell metastasis involves invasive cell migratory behavior, these normal developmental processes can be used a model for metastasis. In this study, I treated flies expressing GFP in both the border cells and the centripetal cells with three different concentrations of walnut extract and monitored these migratory events. Preliminary analysis suggests that walnut extract treatment could cause a modest defect in border cell migration as well as a defect in the ability of the centripetal cells to follow their normal migration path. Future experiments will confirm this effect and determine how walnut extract treatment alters cell migratory behavior.
Biology
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