Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Sandeep Singh

Second Advisor

Tomasz Kordula

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Dupree


YKL-40, also known as CHI3L1, is a chitinase-like protein that is expressed by several cells in a variety of organisms. Several different functions have been assigned to YKL-40, such as promoting cell growth and proliferation, regulating the ECM, protect cells from apoptosis, and play a role in inflammation. While there is extensive research done on YKL-40, very little is known on its role in the CNS. This is despite YKL-40 being highly expressed during several neuroinflammatory conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. We investigated the expression of YKL-40 in the developmental CNS of mice and determined that expression increases as mice brains develop. Expression levels are higher in the cerebellum and the hippocampus than in the cortex. YKL-40 expression primarily colocalizes with astrocytes. Interestingly, YKL-40 expression tended to be more highly expressed in the corpus callosum and white matter, areas with high myelin and oligodendrocyte density. Finally, two lines of YKL-40 cell specific tamoxifen-inducible knockout lines were developed, one for astrocytes and one for microglia. The astrocyte knockout line was developed first, and injection of tamoxifen has shown partial success in knocking out YKL-40 expression in astrocytes.


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Available for download on Sunday, May 07, 2028