Faculty Advisor

DeMarais, Alyce

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2014


The present study investigated the effects of increasing concentrations of progesterone on cell death by monitoring the expression of mRNAs specific for genes in the apoptosis and autophagy cell death pathway in Danio rerio ovary tissue using quantitative (q)PCR. Progesterone is used to regulate oocyte maturation in vivo; however, synthetic progesterone in oral contraceptives is found in the environment. Primers for Bcl-2 and Pi3K-III were used to investigate gene activity via mRNA produced. The results of the present study revealed that gene activity was variable as revealed by qPCR analysis. After 24 hour exposure to progesterone Bcl-2 and Pi3K-III were expression was inconsistent. The inconsistency in results could have been to poor primer design in the Bcl-2 gene. For future directions new primers would be ordered specifically for apoptosis (p53 and Caspase-3), and a new reference gene. The independent study I am currently conducting in the Fall will utilize the same techniques and ideas of my summer research except I will be investigating the effects of progesterone on Pi3K-III, Caspase-3, and p53. My results will be presented in the Spring, 2015 at the Phi Sigma research symposium.


University of Puget Sound