Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Hebe Guardiola-Diaz


Oligodendrocytes are a type of glial cell in the central nervous system that are responsible for producing the myelin sheath which allows for faster neuronal firing rates. Myelin production is a metabolically expensive process, which requires the oligodendrocytes to be aware of the nutrients are available to them. It has been demonstrated that the mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) is required for the later stages of maturation in oligodendrocytes. However, when mTOR is inhibited by Rapamycin in the early stages of oligodendrocyte development, the oligodendrocytes are still able to fully differentiate. Tribbles Homolog 3 (Trib3) is a pseudo kinase that has impaired catalytic activity. In previous research, trib3 has been shown to be upregulated by cellular stress and serves as an important regulator of cell death, stress responses, cell differentiation and many other processes. The goal of this research is to analyze the expression levels of mTOR throughout the oligodendrocyte lineage, at day 1 and day 4, and the expression of Trib3 in day 4 cells when they are deprived of leucine. The results indicate that as cells age mTOR expression is increased and as they are deprived of leucine at day 4, trib3 expression decreases.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience.