Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

David McClenahan


Adenosine triphosphate--Physiological effect; Inflammation;


The purpose of this research project was to study the effects that extracellular ATP has on F-actin levels in cells containing the P2X7 purinergic receptor. MAC-T cells which express the receptor were exposed to various levels of ATP and stained to undergo flow cytometry. In this case, F-actin was labeled with 488 phalloidin which was able to be detected by the flow cytometer. This was done in conjuction with controls to show how ATP exposure affected Factin levels. Based on these results, the cytoskeletal changes taking place in the cell in response to ATP were able to be measured and studied.

Results showed that once ATP was present at high enough concentrations to sufficiently activate P2X7, F-actin levels increased. This increase was most intense shortly after treatment, peaking between 15 and 60 minutes post-exposure. The effects diminished after that point and by 2 hours post-exposure, F-actin levels began to decline. This data has possible implications in cell permeability during inflammatory processes and could serve as a basis for understanding the mechanism by which permeability increases.

Year of Submission



Department of Biology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (28 pages)



File Format


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Hircock,Taylor_hpt.pdf (531 kB)