Mice, Morphine, and Other Essentials of a Mad Scientist #7 – Ted

After narrowing down the proteins further, I will be doing my tests on P-Glycoprotein, a membrane-bound protein involved in cell detoxification. After contacting a company called Abcam, which sells antibodies, T. Dawn has found a contact that has helped with finding an appropriate antibody for my research. While I wait for the full list of information to be sent to T. Dawn, I am currently doing more background research on P-Glycoprotein and further investigating what kinds of questions I hope to answer with my work.

In the scientific world, these large scale questions are first addressed with a hypothesis. A hypothesis is not a final answer but rather a guiding idea throughout a research study. For my project, my hypothesis is centered on the expression levels of P-Glycoprotein in morphine affected mice kidneys and livers. There are a wide variety of hypotheses that could be formulated however the one that is most interesting to me is along the lines of:

Morphine addiction in mice causes increased expression in P-Glycoprotein and elevated drug resistance.

What draws me to the concept of drug resistance is part research based and part logic. As students are most often taught in their health classes, drug addicts often require higher dosages of their choice drug in order to receive the same high as they received when they first started. Combining this semi-unexplained idea to research around drug resistance in cells, I believe that there is potential in investigating the variation in levels of P-Glycoprotein in cells. P-Glycoprotein plays a vital role in pumping out foreign drug molecules from cells, especially in the kidney, liver, and brain, allowing the molecules to drain into urine. If I am able to observe variation in the levels of P-Glycoprotein in the kidneys and livers, it could offer evidence that the necessity for higher dosages of drugs is related to increased P-Glycoprotein presence.

http://www.pnas.org/content/94/8/4028.full.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11939261

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