All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Stephen Watts

Advisory Committee Members

Mickie Lynn Powell

Anna Thalacker-Mercer

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences


Tissue damage, whether a traumatic injury or surgically-induced, can compromise organ structure and function. Traumatic injury affects 38 million people annually in the U.S alone, costing around 4.8 billion dollars. Much research has been accomplished on defining the pathways associated with recovery, but research on understanding the role of nutrition in wound healing is limited. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) provide a high-throughput model to elucidate nutrients that are important in the regenerative process due to their reproductive capacity, rapid development, cost compared to other animal models and, lastly, their ability for tissue regeneration. Specifically caudal fin amputation is of interest because the regenerative process associated with the blastema can largely be identified with minimal magnification and measured without the need for histological staining. In this study we had two goals. The first goal was to develop a high throughput caudal fin amputation model to allow assessment of wound healing. The second goal was to use that model to study the dietary impact on wound healing. After model development, D. rerio was fed either a high or low protein:carbohydrate ratio (1:1 or 1:4, respectively) diet to observe the effects on the rate of blastema formation after amputation of the caudal fin. We observed a significant difference between diets at 28 hours post amputation and attributed the improved blastema formation of the low-protein diet (low protein-carbohydrate ratio) to both the reliance of progenitor and immune cells on aerobic glycolysis, and the sparing of amino acids from the gluconeogenic pathway.