Stroke is the world's leading cause of adult disability, caused by lack of oxygen and nutrients to the brain due to a blood clot in a major artery. This leads to ischemic damage of neuronal cells that leads to paralysis, motor, and speech deficits. While most stroke therapies aim at removing or reducing the blood clots in the brain, few treatments target cell damage. Neuroglobin (NGB) is a protein in the brain that is able to aid in neuroprotection following oxidative stress. Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) is a transcription factor that serves as a marker for cell recovery after hypoxia or low oxygen levels. Exosomes are microscopic extracellular vesicles that can help deliver proteins across the blood-brain barrier. This thesis focuses on finding a correlation between exosomal-delivered neuroglobin to ischemic cells and the regulation of HIF-1 in order to develop an innovative treatment using exosomes. The specific aims of this thesis are as follows:

Aim 1: Package NGB in exosomes of healthy cell

The XPAK-NGB plasmid will be used to transfect NGB DNA into wild-type human embryonic kidney (HEK-293 cell line) cells. Exosomes will be harvested from the spent media. The exosomes will be analyzed to ensure that the protein is packaged inside the exosomes.

Aim 2: Determine the limit of hypoxic conditions and effects of NGB on damaged cells

A literature review will be performed to determine the ideal concentration of H2O2 for the survival of neuronal cells. This will include the composition of hypoxia as well as the length of time that cells can be exposed to and remain viable.

Aim 3: Correlate NGB concentration and HIF-1 concentration

Another literature review will determine the specific markers of NGB and HIF-1.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Sugaya, Kiminobu


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date