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 Jennifer  Guergues

Jennifer Guergues

Jennifer Guergues

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Advisor : Stanley Stevens

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Ph.D.

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to severe repercussions including several neuropathologies and even neurodegeneration. Glial cells are important in maintaining homeostasis and proper function of the central nervous system; however, activated glial cells, in particular astrocytes and microglia, have been increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of alcohol-induced neurological disorders. Current research provides evidence that microglia and astrocyte activation can result in both neurotrophic and/or neurotoxic effects depending on the source of activation yet the specific interactions and pathways triggered in and between glial cells and neurons remains unclear due to the highly intricate balance of regulation. Thus, we aimed to characterize ethanol’s effects on microglia and astrocytes in both mono-cultures and neuron-glia co-cultures using novel proteomic approaches in order to systematically characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying ethanol-induced glial cell activation. Preliminary data suggest ethanol induces unique activation phenotypes for both microglia and astrocytes and that neuronal interactions influence this process.