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Date of Award

Spring 4-15-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Lidia Kos

Second Advisor

Sana Nasim


The presence of melanocytes in the aortic valves of mice have shown to be influencing the process of elastogenesis. In humans, this extracellular matrix component provides stability and flexibility for the leaflet to recoil throughout the systolic and diastolic cycles. However, the process of elastin regulation and production has not yet been fully understood. This study described elastin gene expression throughout the development of murine aortic valves. To accomplish that, aortic valves were isolated from mice at embryonic days E12.5, E16.5, E17.5, E18, and E18.5 as well as postnatally at day P11 and adult stages. In situ hybridization technique was also performed in order to detect elastin gene expression in a qualitative level. Regarding the in situ hybridization, the results were inconclusive. On the other hand, prominent levels of elastin expression were observed at E18. At this point, elastin gene expression exponentially decreased until adulthood, when it stabilizes. These results indicate that the production of elastin occurs quickly during late stages of development and rapidly ceases upon exposed to new postnatal environmental dynamics.



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