Arts and Science, Faculty of

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    'It was almost... always supposed to be the Indian bar': the American Hotel as a contact zone
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of History, 2024) Gelinas, Ryley M. G.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Alexander, Kristine
    From the early 1960s, the American Hotel in Fort Macleod, Alberta was a space where individuals from the neighbouring Kainai and Piikani reserves interacted. This thesis examines how the American Hotel served as a contact zone between white settlers and other non-Indigenous peoples of Fort Macleod and Blackfoot peoples. Drawing on archival research and thirteen oral history interviews conducted with individuals from Fort Macleod and surrounding areas, this thesis explores (1) the history of the American Hotel as a contact zone and (2) the planning, curation, and reception of the museum exhibition Contact Zone: The American Hotel, which ran at the Galt Museum and Archives in Lethbridge from April to October 2023. Providing additional scholarship to the exhibition, this thesis details the sections of the exhibit and discusses the public reception before concluding with a discussion of colonial haunting in contact zones like the American Hotel.
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    A day in the life of Mus musculus: homecage behavioural analysis of a mouse model of Alzheimer disease
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience, 2023) Liang, Jiajie; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Mohajerani, Majid H.; Cheng, Howard
    Traditionally, behavioural research of Alzheimer disease animal models involved specialized experiments that require dedicated apparatus and presence of experimenter. However, experiment apparatus and the interaction between animals and experimenters can influence the behaviours of the animals, and result in difficulty in reproducibility. One recent innovation is to study behaviours of Alzheimer disease mouse model in their homecages. This thesis presents an experiment using automated homecages to observe the homecage behaviours of 5xFAD mouse models over 26 weeks. By measuring daily activity level, circadian rhythm and excursion behaviours, the experiment successfully produces measurements consistent with prior knowledge and provides some further insight in the behaviours of the mouse model. This thesis validates the approach using homecage behaviours as a paradigm for AD animal research.
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    The impact of psilocybin and eugenol on brain inflammation in murine models: unraveling cumulative and individual effects
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences, 2023) Zanikov, Timur; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Kovalchuk, Igor; Kovalchuk, Olga
    Neuroinflammation represents a unique immune response within the central nervous system, involving glial cells such as microglia and astrocytes. Unlike peripheral inflammation, neuroinflammation affects the blood-brain barrier, glia, and neurons. Various factors can induce neuroinflammation, including surgical procedures, infections, traumatic brain injuries, toxin exposure, and immune dysregulation, involving interactions between multiple cell types and signaling molecules. Neuroinflammation is a critical factor in various acute and chronic brain diseases. Recent research has emphasized the potential anti-inflammatory properties of naturally occurring compounds from mushrooms and plants. This study aimed to investigate the effects of psilocybin and eugenol, individually and in combination, on neuroinflammation. We used two different models to study the effects of treatment on neuroinflammation. First, we used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) model to examine if our treatments can prevent an increase in cytokine levels in the brains of mice injected with LPS. Second, we utilized dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) model to assess the combined anti-inflammatory effects of psilocybin and eugenol. While both psilocybin and eugenol individually displayed anti-inflammatory effects, their combined treatment demonstrated an additive effect on the reduction in neuroinflammation. This study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and eugenol in psychiatric and neurodegenerative inflammatory disorders, with further research needed to understand their underlying mechanisms and clinical efficacy.
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    The effect of psilocybin and eugenol in dextran and lipopolysaccharide induced gastro-intestinal inflammation
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences, 2023) Asghari, Zeinab; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Kovalchuk, Olga; Kovalchuk, Igor
    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a complex gastrointestinal condition, arising from immune dysfunction, epithelial cell abnormalities, and gut microbiota imbalances. This study seeks to find the potential anti-inflammatory properties of psilocybin and eugenol in both local and systemic intestinal inflammation by utilizing a murine model of IBD induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We evaluated the impact of these compounds on inflammatory cytokine levels in intestinal tissues and also explored changes in serotonin receptor (HTR2A and B) expression, and transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels (TRP1 and TRPM8), analyzing the influence of these compounds on serotonin signaling pathways. Our study yielded significant insights into the multifaceted world of inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract. Notably, our findings revealed intriguing disparities in the trends observed pre- and post-treatment, particularly in the context of small and large intestine inflammation induced by LPS and DSS. Additionally, our study unearthed evidence of the anti-inflammatory properties of psilocybin and eugenol, compounds with agonistic effects on serotonin and TRP channels. Most notably, we observed a synergistic effect when these compounds were combined. More comprehensive studies on the medicinal effects of natural compounds in IBD animal models are pivotal for exploring their implications, specifically the analysis of drug-microbiota-immune system interactions.
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    Effects of polyethylene microplastics and cadmium on freshwater animals: a modelling framework
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences, 2023) Zink, Lauren M.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Pyle, Gregory; Wiseman, Steve
    The emerging field of microplastic-metal mixtures toxicity is riddled with contradictory conclusions relating to the uptake, accumulation, and toxicity of the mixture and each constituent. After initially setting out to fill knowledge gaps through several studies with a phylogenetically diverse set of animal models and exposure scenarios, I recognized that this work contradicted other studies in the field. This thesis draws on our developed understanding of metal behaviour and toxicity in an effort to resolve the confusion relating to microplastic-metal mixtures toxicity. Despite the well-established knowledge that water quality characteristics govern the behaviour of metals in freshwater systems, there has not been adequate water quality reporting in the field of microplastic-metal mixtures toxicity. To address the reality that providing a full suite of water quality characterization is not often feasible for each experiment, we created a model to predict which aspects of water quality primarily govern the association of cadmium and polyethylene, a representative microplastic. The model, combined with understanding the bioavailability of metal-microplastic complexes, provides insight into the hazards of metal toxicity in a given system. This model promotes the harmonization across research in the field which can then collectively be used in policy development to protect aquatic life.