Date of Award

Summer 2022

Project Type


Program or Major

Biological Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Arturo Andrade

Second Advisor

Jessica Bolker

Third Advisor

Arturo Andrade


The glioma-oncogenic proteins, or GLI proteins play a vital role in the body during development and in diseases. However, not much is known about GLI protein’s additional roles in the body, specifically GLI3. Through previous works in the Elsawa laboratory findings showed a novel role of GLI3 impacting the inflammatory response. Inflammation has potential to affect many pathways in the body including nociception and nociceptive pain. Therefore, the goal of this study was to elucidate the role of GLI3 in inflammatory pain. C57BL/6J adult mice were tested to observe putative knockout of GLI3 (cre-induced mice) in comparison to mice with GLI3 (non cre-induced mice). Inflammatory models were created using Complete Freund’s Adjuvant (CFA) that when injected in the paw promoted an increase in paw width or paw edema. To study the thermal nociceptive response, or paw withdrawal, a Hargreaves Plantar tests was performed. Similarly, to study paw withdrawal in response to mechanical nociception a Von Frey Filament test was performed. Statistical tests compared mouse baseline measurement in paw widths and behavioral tests pre-injection, and 2- and 10-days post-injection. There appeared to be a significant difference in paw edema post-injection in cre-induced mice in comparison to non cre-induced mice. Thus, suggesting there was a difference in the acute inflammatory response. In thermal nociceptive studies there was a significant difference in baseline responses between cre-induced mice and non cre-induced mice. Alternatively, there was no significant difference in response post-injection. This suggested that GLI3 could affect thermal response but not thermal hypersensitivity. In comparison to the mechanical nociceptive response, there was no significant difference between cre-induced and non cre-induced mice pre- or post-injection. Overall, GLI3 seems to play a role in acute inflammation or innate immune responses.