Friday, September 19, 2014

URSP Student Julia Bourguignon Researches the Effect of Spices on Calcium Influx and CGRP Levels and their Relation to Migraine

This week was a hectic one! With our URSP celebration and research presentation around the corner, some serious data collection was in order. With my project, I am investigating the effects of two spices, ginger and turmeric, on potential mechanisms of migraine.

This week I conducted a CGRP secretion assay. It is believed that calcitonin gene-relation peptide (CGRP) secretion is correlated with sensitivity and inflammation. We are looking at whether treatment with ginger or turmeric will affect secretion levels in CA-77 cells. This is done through a rat enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kit, where we hope to see changes in CGRP secretion among the different treatments we apply to each column of cells. To perform the kit, three days are required, where I will plate cells onto a 96-well plate, treat them with varying concentrations of the spices, and then stimulate CGRP secretion with potassium chloride. From there, I can collect the secretions, dilute them, transfer them to another plate and apply a tracer which will help to detect the varying levels of CGRP after the addition of Ellman’s reagent. Finally, I take a plate reading to quantify the results, and perform statistical analysis to view significant differences among treatments. 

Next week we will look into a Calcium Imaging study, which helps us to detect if these spices will have an effect on calcium channel inhibition in PC-12 cells. More information to come on that study!