Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Univerity of California, Irvine College of Medicine

The Zeta Chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Student Research Fellowship Recipients

Recipient in 2002: Kasra Rowshan

Evaluation of Axonal Integrity in a Model for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In combination with the AOA Research Fellowship, Mr. Rowshan was also been awarded an NIH Summer Research Fellowship for his research interests. Under the supervision and in the laboratory of Dr. Ranjan Gupta, Mr. Rowshan studies the pathogenesis of carpal tunnel syndrome using a rat model of chronic nerve compression. Recent studies have shown the potential significance of the Schwann cell in possibly mediating axonal and myelin changes during chronic nerve compression. It has been shown that C57BL/Wlds transgenic mice confer a protective mechanism in response to nerve damage. Furthermore, injured nerves show increased Wld gene expression, indicating a protective mechanism. Therefore it is of great interest to develop a mouse model for chronic nerve compression similar to the rat model in order to better understand the pathophysiology of chronic compression. The goal of this project is to develop a mouse model for carpal tunnel syndrome to better understand which genes play a role in myelin dysregulation.

Scientific Significance: This study will elucidate whether the axon or the Schwann cell has the primary role in the pathogenesis of compression neuropathy in a mouse model of carpal tunnel syndrome. If the pathology were primarily related to axonal function, then we would expect the transgenic mice group to show a slowed degeneration process relative to the normal animal group with our CNC model. If the Schwann cell is the primary mediator, then a similar time course of pathology will be observed between both groups. By better understanding the molecular pathogenesis of compressive neuropathy, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, future work may be directed towards reversing the histopathological changes associated with compression neuropathies.

Mr. Rowshan's research work has led to numerous abstract publications and presentation in national Orthopaedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery research conferences. Additionally, his work is currently under review for publication in neuroscience journals, and is expected for publication later this year. In September of 2003, he will be presenting his research at the annual American Society for Surgery of the Hand in Chicago, IL in a formal talk. All of this has been made possible by the supervision and advise of his mentor, Dr. Ranjan Gupta.