Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Anatomy & Neurobiology

First Advisor

Dr. Unsong Oh

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Dupree

Third Advisor

Dr. Carmen Sato-Bigbee


SARM1 is an injury-induced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide nucleosidase (NADase) that was previously shown to promote axonal degeneration in response to traumatic, toxic, and excitotoxic stressors. This raises the question of whether a SARM1-dependent program of axonal degeneration is central to a common pathway contributing to disease burden in neurological disorders. The degree to and mechanism by which SARM1 inactivation decreases the pathophysiology of such disorders is of interest to establish the rationale to pursue SARM1 as a therapeutic target. In this study, we compare the course and pathology of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in Sarm1-knockout (KO) mice and wild-type littermates to test the contribution of SARM1-dependent axonal degeneration specifically in the context of chronic, immune-mediated central nervous system (CNS) inflammation. The question of whether SARM1 loss in Sarm1-KO mice would inhibit, promote, or have a negligible impact on EAE-induced axonal degeneration and more broadly CNS inflammation was explored using a variety of analyses: quantification of clinical score in a chronic EAE model, CNS immune infiltrate profile, axon initial segment morphology in layer V cortical neurons, axonal transport disruption and transection in the lumbar spinal cord. Additionally, we have proposed a method for detecting SARM1 activation in situusing a novel SARM1-mCitrine bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) technique. Successful implementation of such a molecular tool would allow for a detailed, mechanistic approach to enhance our understanding of upstream intracellular signals that trigger SARM1 activation.


© Kenneth Edward Viar II

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission