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Completed Project

Progesterone Effects on the Expression of Doublecortin (DCX) in Traumatic Brain Injuries of the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

Catherine King, Vassar College ’19 and Prof. Kelli Duncan
Doublecortin (DCX gene) is a protein associated with directing neurons to their correct locations as the brain develops. It does this by binding to microtubules, which then can direct the neurons to their proper locations, in a process called neuronal migration. The DCX expressed by neuronal precursor cells that is present only in the early stages of neuron development. Doublecortin is present for the first 20-30 days of neural cell life as the neuronal precursor cells continue to divide and the daughter cells similarly express the DCX protein. Because the doublecortin is present only in the early stages of neuronal development, it is increasingly used as a marker for neurogenesis. In this study, we looked at the effect of progesterone on neurogenesis. Progesterone is a hormone involved with the menstrual cycle and pregnancy in humans and other species. It has been shown that progesterone promotes neurogenesis and the doublecortin was used to see the neurogenesis promoted by the progesterone.