Alzheimer's disease (AD) leads to neurodegeneration resulting in cognitive and physical impairments. AD is denoted by accumulation of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, known as tau, and extracellular plaques of the amyloid beta protein (Aβ). Aβ results from the proteolytic cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β- and gamma-secretases in the amyloidogenic pathway. Although, Aβ has been widely studied for neurodegeneration, the role of APP in both, the healthy and diseased conditions, has not yet been entirely understood. The function that APP has in neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation, differentiation, and migration during adult neurogenesis has been previously studied. Additionally, APP has be shown to be overexpressed after neural damage resulted from conditions, such as AD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this study, the role of APP in in vitro damaged neural tissue cells was further investigated by evaluating neural progenitor cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation after a scratch assay. For these purposes, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from AD patients were differentiated into neural progenitor cells to model the disease conditions and later treated with Phenserine to reduce their levels of APP expression. The results suggested that APP may enhance neural progenitor cell proliferation and glial differentiation while inhibiting neural progenitor cell migration and neuronal cell specialization after neural tissue damage.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Sugaya, Kiminobu


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date