The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Biological Sciences - Cell and Molecular: M.S.




College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Marina Cetkovic-Cvrlje

Second Advisor

Oladele Gazal

Third Advisor

Cassidy Dobson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

type 1 diabetes, garcinia kola, T cells, autoimmune disease, C57BL/6J mice


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a non-preventable autoimmune disease where autoreactive T cells orchestrate the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Individuals with T1D are committed to a life-long dependency on insulin, which it and T1D associated care is expensive, and in many regions around the world is unattainable. Thus, there is an imperative to find an accessible and efficient alternative. The seeds of Garcinia kola are commonly used for cultural and medicinal purposes in West Africa. Previous studies have shown that Garcinia kola seed extract (GKE) has hypoglycemic and anti-inflammatory effects which suit is as a candidate for preventing disease development. It was hypothesized that treatment with GKE would prevent T1D development through its anti-inflammatory action in an experimental mouse model. Male seven-week-old C57BL/6J mice were treated with aqueous or ethanol GKE (100 mg/kg) in their drinking water for five weeks and were chemically induced with T1D at eight weeks of age. Biweekly body weight and glycemia measurements were performed from nine to 13 weeks of age. Mice were euthanized at days 11 and 30 after the initial STZ injection to evaluate GKE’s effects on T cells. Treatment with GKE had no effect on glycemia, diabetes incidence or prevalence. However, the immunomodulatory activity of GKE displayed a shift to a pro-inflammatory response, suggesting potential therapeutic benefits for other diseases. This study did not confirm the anti-diabetic potential of GKE, however, it did highlight the need for more consistent research on herbal compounds.


I am so deeply thankful for the abundance of help and support throughout my graduate school journey. I would like to give huge thanks to Brian Lorenz for all of the vivarium and technical support he provided, my committee members Cassidy Dobson and Oladele Gazal for providing me with their guidance and expertise throughout my project, and to all of the undergraduate students who have helped me in the lab. I am so proud of their effort and thankful for their help. I would like to thank a SCSU alumna, Sinduja Thinamany for her support and all the time she took to train me and answer all of my questions. These two years would have been so much more difficult without that! Lastly, I must give special thanks to my advisor and mentor, Dr. Cetkovic-Cvrlje. I will never be able to fully express my gratitude for her mentorship throughout my undergraduate and graduate career. She has instilled my passion for research, and if it were not for her, I would not realize my career calling in public health. I am so thankful for all of her continuous advice and the opportunities she has provided me throughout my time at SCSU. I feel so honored to have been a member in her lab and her graduate student. I would like to dedicate my thesis to two very special people in my life- my mom for her unconditional love and support, and to my godson Dax (aka chubs) as I hope he shares the similar joy and passion for science as I have had.



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