Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2008

Thesis Advisor(s)

Richard French

Honors Major



Life Sciences | Medical Pathology


Abstract:Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) is a human cytokine that is well known for its role in modulating macrophage function. It has also been shown to cause smooth muscle cell death. A homolog of the MIF protein (BmMIF) has been found in Brugia malayi, one of the etiological agents of lymphatic filariasis. BmMIF shares a significant portion of its sequence homology with human MIF. Infection by Brugia malayi leads to a consistent finding of lymphatic dilation with surrounding smooth muscle cell apoptosis. We hypothesize that Brugia malayi releases BmMIF as a mediator of host smooth muscle cell death in the infected lymphatics in order to expand the lumen beyond normal anatomical dimensions. Our goal is to express and purify recombinant BmMIF and to measure the protein's effect on smooth muscle cells in culture.