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The Effect of Immune Cell Activation on Glycogen Storage in the Context of a Nutrient Rich Microenvironment


The Effect of Immune Cell Activation on Glycogen Storage in the Context of a Nutrient Rich Microenvironment

Tabatabaei Shafiei, Mahdieh (2016) The Effect of Immune Cell Activation on Glycogen Storage in the Context of a Nutrient Rich Microenvironment. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Tabatabaei Shafiei_MSc_S2016.pdf - Accepted Version


Lymphocytes of the immune system become activated in order to fight pathogens. Activated lymphocytes absorb more glucose due to their high-energy demand. Glycogen is a branched polymer of glucose units that is formed in times of nutrient sufficiency and it is utilized in times of need. In the presence of high glucose, lymphocytes build up glycogen stores, but the fate of this content is not very well understood. The objective of this work is to demonstrate the presence of glycogen in activated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and to investigate the impact of low nutrient levels on the glycogen content of these cells. This was achieved by isolation of PBMCs from human blood, followed by in-vitro activation of the cells by a general activator and a T cell-specific activator. Glycogen concentrations were measured through periodic acid Schiff’s staining (PAS) method and by using an enzymatic detection kit, in various time points. The role of glycogen in times of low nutrient availability was also examined. PBMC were found to contain glycogen by both methods. Upon stimulation of PBMCs with the general activator, there was an increase in glycogen formation in the activated lymphocytes as compared to the non-activated group using both techniques (p<0.05). The effect of T cell-specific activator was consistent with the effects of the general activator. This was confirmed through PAS staining and enzymatic detection kit techniques (p<0.05). Additionally, when the amount of nutrients was lowered, less glycogen was stored in PBMCs. This study demonstrated that activated PBMCs contain more glycogen stores as compared to non-activated cells. The excess glucose that is converted into glycogen may be used by the immune system when nutrients are low.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Tabatabaei Shafiei, Mahdieh
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Date:6 January 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Darlington, Peter J.
ID Code:980786
Deposited On:16 Jun 2016 15:02
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52


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