Kevin Kopko

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Adam Pack

Honors Reader

Lorraine Pawson

Capstone Major

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

Capstone College

Engineering and Computer Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biological Engineering | Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering


Pacinian Corpuscles (PCs) are somatosensory mechanoreceptors, composed of a central neurite, surrounded by layers of lamellae that make up the inner core, which are specialized glial cells, and fibroblast derived outer-core lamellae of the surrounding capsule. Several components specific to a chemical synapse (Vglut1, Vamp1, SNAP-23) were localized to both the neurite and the inner-core cells in feline mesenteric PCs using immunocytochemistry. However, it has long been postulated that the first synapse of the PC occurs at the dorsal column nuclei, or spinal cord, and that no classical synapse is present in the distal ending of the capsulated receptor. While the historical interpretation of the function of glia has been that they provide support to the nervous system, recent evidence has shown that there is signaling occurring between glia and nerve cells. Thus, we believe that this glutamate-mediated synapse-like activity may play a modulatory role in the mechanotransductive process.

To obtain a secondary confirmation of this finding, RT-PCR testing is planned. Consensus sequences were developed based on the homologous mRNA for humans, rats, and mice and used to develop primers for PCR and RT-PCR on the feline PCs. Initial results confirm the functionality of the primers when using a DNA template. The primers are currently being optimized to determine ideal conditions that would increase the PCR yields before performing the RT-PCR.

The functionality of the primers suggests that the reactivity of the antibodies used in the ICC is accurate and not cross-reactivity due to the use of a consensus sequence for primer development and not the feline genome.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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