Date of Award

Spring 2022

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Bobby Fokidis

Committee Member

Jay Pieczynski & Sabrice Guerrier

Committee Member

Matthew Forsythe


Exosomes are a type of extracellular vesicle that is produced by cells through an endosomal pathway and secreted into bodily fluids. Exosomes deliver bioactive cargo from their parent cells to target cells as a form of intercellular communication. While most research has studied exosomes in the context of disease, less is known about their role in normal physiology when disease is absent. Using the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) as a model organism, we investigated how stress exposure affects exosome concentrations in the plasma of anoles, and whether exosome release is necessary for the response to stress. We hypothesized that stress will increase exosome concentrations in the brown anole. A population of brown anoles was maintained in captivity and exposed to various acute and chronic stressors. Exosomes were isolated from anole plasma using a commercial kit and quantified by measuring acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. We found that exosomes can be successfully isolated from brown anoles and that AChE can be a reasonable measure of exosome concentrations. Our findings suggest that acute stress exposure may increase exosome concentrations, while chronic stress exposure may decrease them over time. This was a novel and exploratory study that can be used as a starting point for future research on the role of exosomes in the normal stress response.

Rights Holder

Anna Kaza

Available for download on Thursday, May 02, 2024