June 1, 2023

Wound healing is a complex process that relies on an intricate network of cellular and molecular communications between the immune system, skin and surrounding extracellular matrix. In addition to these intrinsic mechanisms, wound healing can be influenced by a variety of factors, including age, underlying disease conditions, infection, stress, and certain medications. Wounds are a common-place occurrence, and poor wound healing affects millions of people, so identifying whether commonly prescribed medications that patients may already be taking improve – or interfere with – wound healing is important to determine. As wound response mechanisms are widely conserved, planarian wound healing and regeneration provides a simple model system in which to examine the effects of these commonly prescribed drugs on the wound healing process. One such medication is Alprazolam, a generic form of the benzodiazepine Xanax, which is used to treat anxiety disorders, seizures, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines work by affecting the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain and increasing the activity of the GABA molecules. GABA molecules reduce brain activity in the areas of the brain responsible for memory, emotion, rational thought, and certain functions such as breathing. This results in the overall slowing down of the central nervous system. As both planaria and humans have GABA receptors, Alprazolam could have similar effect on planaria and humans. We first tested whether Alprazolam could influence anxiety-like responses in planaria, using a light/dark test. Next, to determine whether Alprazolam might influence wound healing, we exposed regenerating planaria to varying physiologically relevant doses of Alprazolam, and compared the results to control planaria regenerating in spring water or spring water plus methanol, the solvent that Alprazolam was dissolved in. Initial results suggest that Alprazolam does have an effect on planarian behavior, and that the regeneration proceeds more slowly in planaria exposed to Alprazolam. As aspects of the underlying mechanisms of wound healing and Alprazolam responses are conserved, this research could help us to identify how a commonly prescribed anxiety medication influences wound healing in humans.

Today we’re going to be presenting the effects of alprazolam on wound healing and regeneration in planaria in this experiment we are testing if commonly prescribed medications affect the rate of wound healing sites planaria were used in this experiment because they possess a large amount of stem cells called neoblast as well as they have the ability to fully

Regenerate themselves in about two weeks alprazolium is the medication that we used in this experiment and it is the generic form of xanax xanax is used to help treat general anxiety disorders alprazolam belongs to the drug class known as benzodiazephines benzodiazephines work by affecting the gaba receptors found in the brain as well as increasing the activity

Of gaba molecules this research is very relevant to modern day medicine as many people are already prescribed medications such as alprazolam before they enter surgery and it is still not known how these medications can affect the human wound healing process we hypothesize that because stress has a negative impact on regeneration and wound healing traditionally

In planaria that an anti-anxiety medication such as alprazolam alleviate any stress and speed up the regenerative speed of planaria and shorten the wound process overall experimentally planaria were chopped in half along the anterior posterior axis and then placed in either spring water methanol or alprazolam concentrations of alprazolam were chose chosen based

On the dosage of 25 milligrams per 70 kilogram adult methanol was used as our second control as the alprazolam we acquired was dissolved in a methanol solution so we wanted to eliminate any extra variables of in our results in order to examine whether alprazolam actually had a de-stressing effect a light dark test was used to assess anxiety-like behaviors both

Ambient and strong light sources were used and each test was taken at the same time of day our results show the regeneration timeline that was found in planaria picture a shows the formation of a blastema which is the white spot that shows the wound site and it would appeared a few days after the cut was made picture b shows early tissue regeneration which was

Occurring when the blastema was no longer visible and lastly picture c shows a fully regenerated head in which both oracles and eye spots are seen overall during the regeneration timeline we also noticed that even though the worms were cut in half initially some of the worms continued to split themselves and we had three pieces of worms in some of our dishes

Overall the regeneration rates of planaria were found to be slower at low doses of alprazolam the one to two hundred dose of alprazolam is seen as the purple line in this graph in the formation of the blastema the eye spots and the oracles all were slower at that dose the one to fifty dose was a higher dose and we actually saw the opposite effect in the higher

Dose we saw the blastema formation was faster as well as the generation of the eye spots and oracles we also found that alprazolium does affect anxiety-like behaviors when performing the light dark test methanol alone does increase the amount of time that the worms spent in the light but overall the four microgram per milliliter dose showed that the worms spent

The most amount of time in light and they spent 261 percent more time in the light than just spring water and 135 percent more than just methanol alone overall our hypothesis was incorrect as the rate of regeneration in planaria was slightly slower at low doses of alprazolam this is consistent with literature published from burn studies which shows that the use

Of benzodiazepines such as alprazolam can inhibit the wound healing process currently higher doses of alprazolam are being observed and they have shown de-differentiation the loss of oracles and eye spots and a slower regeneration process than both our controls overall as well the effects of alprazolam on mitotic activity and gaba receptor levels throughout the

Regeneration and wound healing process is something that we hope to explore in the future humans and planaria both are shown to have similar gaba receptors in the brain which allows for our regeneration results to be relevant to the wound healing process in modern medicine thank you for coming to our presentation

Transcribed from video
The Effects of Alprazolam on Wound Healing and Regeneration in Planaria – Moehring, Cree By PennWest California