Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Qian Chen, PhD

Second Advisor

Dawn Shell, PhD

Third Advisor

Charlotte Greene, PhD


Autophagy is a housekeeping process used to remove damaged cytoplasmic constituents and protein aggregates. However, a debate persists on whether autophagy is beneficial or detrimental when an ischemic/reperfusion (I/R) insult occurs in the heart. This study tested the effects of autophagy enhancers (rapamycin and trehalose) and an autophagy inhibitor (3-methyladenine) on cardiac function and infarct size after global ischemia (30 minutes) and reperfusion (45 minutes) when given prior to ischemia (pre-treatment) or at the beginning of reperfusion (post-treatment). Rapamycin (25nM) pre-treatment and post-treatment significantly restored final left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) to 75.4±9.1% and 60±5% of initial baseline respectively (both n=5, p