Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Brian Duistermars

Reader 2

Brett A Johnson

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Rights Information

2023 Nicolas B Maramica


Various cell types store fat in lipid droplets that can exceed 2 µm in diameter and that can be detrimental to cell function when in excess. In the present study, postmortem human choroid plexus (ChP) tissue was analyzed to determine if ChP epithelial cells (CPECs) contain lipid droplets of this size and if their presence is pathological. Staining using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), as well as imaging of the lipophilic dye Oil red O and confocal microscopy of anti-adipophilin antibodies, confirmed the presence of lipid droplets exceeding 2 µm in CPECs. H&E-stained images from 105 cases were manually annotated to classify CPECs as containing lipid droplets belonging to distinct categories based on diameter: small (2.5 to 5 µm), large (> 5 µm), and multiple. We found that vesicles can exceed 10 µm in diameter and that cases differ significantly in median size as well as in size distributions. Further, the percentage of CPECs affected by any lipid droplet type and the prevalence of lipid droplets in our largest category were found to increase with age and body mass index (BMI). No association was found with sex, postmortem interval, or Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) status. Given that excess accumulation of lipids in hepatocytes is implicated in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and is also associated with age and BMI, our results indicate that lipid storage in the ChP may be pathological and that the ChP should be studied further and considered as a potential target of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.