Student Summer Scholars Manuscripts

First Advisor

Ruijie Liu


Diabetic cardiomyopathy, ERK 1/2, diabetes, db db mice






Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart's muscle and in this case is induced by diabetes. The condition makes it more difficult for the heart to deliver blood to the body and can lead to heart failure. This condition was studied by examining the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2, also known as ERK 1/ 2, and how they relate to diabetic cardiomyopathy. A mouse model with enhanced ERK 1/ 2 phosphorylation was used, which are often referred to as dko mice due to their genetic composition. Diabetes was induced chemically in the mice through a drug called streptozocin (STZ). This drug attacks pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin. Over the weeks following injection, heart disease markers were measured, such as glucose levels and heart weight compared to body weight, to determine whether activation of ERK 1/ 2 lessens the effect that is diabetic cardiomyopathy. The results of these tests were relatively inconclusive in the six week timespan; however, there are plans to continue researching.