Saima Rizwan

PhD Student

Thesis Summary: Extracts of lipids and carotenoids from mussels have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.  However, both the specific lipids that are bioactive and the specific anti-inflammatory mechanisms remain unclear. The objectives of this project are to isolate purified GSM lipid extracts and to assess their bioactive effects in vitro on immune, bone, and cartilage cells and in co-culture.  The study hypothesis is that GSM lipids will not directly interact with bone and cartilage cells, but rather will downregulate inflammatory responses in immune cells and this in turn will reduce bone resorption and destruction of cartilage when bone and cartilage cells are exposed to the factors produced by the treated immune cells. Methodologies will include cell culture and co-culture of multiple cell lines, immunoassays (ELISA and flow cytometry), and molecular biology (PCR, zymograms, and Western blotting).