Amanda Gross


Amanda Gross
BS, Biology
University of Florida - Gainsville
Gainsville, FL
PhD Student in Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Theoharis Theoharides, MD, PhD, Adviser





Neurotrophic factors, such as nerve growth factor (NGF), were originally discovered for their involvement in mediating the differentiation and survival of neurons. However, NGF has recently been implicated in inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. In addition to secreting NGF themselves, mast cells (MC) express the receptor tyrosine kinase for NGF, TrkA. NGF can stimulate degranulation of cultured rat peritoneal MC in vitro and in rat paw MC in vivo. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, shown to be crucial for MC function and activation, has recently been found to be activated in lesional psoriatic skin. The flavonoids luteolin (Lut) and tetramethoxyluteolin (Me-Lut) exhibit anti-inflammatory properties in human MC. Therefore, I am currently investigating the involvement of the mTOR signaling pathway in the regulation of human MC activation by NGF and the potential inhibitory effects of Lut and Me-Lut.

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