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Deborah Eastman

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This paper may only be accessed on the Connecticut College campus.


The Notch Pathway is a key signaling pathway that plays a major role in the development and differentiation of many cells. Its function has been identified in the prognosis of several diseases such as cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CASDIL) and Alagille syndrome, making it an essential pathway to study and understand (Penton, Leonard, and Spinner, 2012). Through this thesis, I studied the function of the Notch Pathway during taste bud development. By inhibiting Notch pathway signaling with DAPT in whole embryos and oropharyngeal endoderm explants, and analyzing the effects through immunostaining of calretinin and endodermal cell tissue cultures, I was able to understand the Notch Pathway’s involvement in taste bud development. My results suggest that inhibition of the Notch pathway decreased the differentiation of taste bud cells in whole embryos, providing further information of Notch and FGF signaling involvement in taste bud development. Although complete analysis of my experiments and further studies were not implemented, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I designed experiments that can be implemented in the future to further understand Notch and FGF signaling during taste bud development.



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