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Integrated Mirna-/Mrna-Seq Of The Habenulo-Interpeduncular Circuit During Acute Nicotine Withdrawal, Alison P. Casserly, Junko Tsuji, Rubing Zhao-Shea, Ciearra B. Smith, Susanna Molas-Casacuberta, Andrew R. Tapper, Zhiping Weng, Paul D. Gardner 2020 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Integrated Mirna-/Mrna-Seq Of The Habenulo-Interpeduncular Circuit During Acute Nicotine Withdrawal, Alison P. Casserly, Junko Tsuji, Rubing Zhao-Shea, Ciearra B. Smith, Susanna Molas-Casacuberta, Andrew R. Tapper, Zhiping Weng, Paul D. Gardner

Open Access Publications by UMMS Authors

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of mortality in the world. The limited number of smoking cessation aids currently available are minimally effective, highlighting the need for novel therapeutic interventions. We describe a genome-wide approach to identify potential candidates for such interventions. Next-generation sequencing was performed using RNA isolated from the habenulo-interpeduncular circuit of male mice withdrawn from chronic nicotine treatment. This circuit plays a central role in the nicotine withdrawal response. Differentially expressed miRNAs and mRNAs were validated using RT-qPCR. Many of the differentially expressed mRNAs are predicted targets of reciprocally expressed miRNAs. We illustrate the utility of ...


Behavioural And Molecular Consequences Of Postnatal Stress In A Mouse Model Of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Bonnie Alberry 2020 The University of Western Ontario

Behavioural And Molecular Consequences Of Postnatal Stress In A Mouse Model Of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Bonnie Alberry

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are caused by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and affect 1‑5% of the North American population. Children born with FASD often face maternal separation throughout childhood. How this early life stress (ELS) affects the severity of FASD-related deficits is poorly understood. Using a mouse model, this dissertation establishes that behavioural deficits accumulate following prenatal alcohol exposure and early life stress, assessed using tests for activity, anxiety-like behaviour as well as learning and memory. Hippocampal gene expression was evaluated using RNA-seq followed by clustering of expression profiles through weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). A set ...


Apoe As A Metabolic Regulator In Humans, Mice, And Astrocytes, Brandon C. Farmer 2020 University of Kentucky

Apoe As A Metabolic Regulator In Humans, Mice, And Astrocytes, Brandon C. Farmer

Theses and Dissertations--Physiology

Altered metabolic pathways appear to play central roles in the pathophysiology of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Carrier status of the E4 allele of the APOE gene is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset AD, and increasing evidence suggests that E4 carriers may be at an increased risk for neurodegeneration based on inherent metabolic impairments. A new appreciation is forming for the role of APOE in cerebral metabolism, and how nutritional factors may impact this role. In chapter 1, the literature on nutritional interventions in E4 carriers aimed at mitigating disease risk is reviewed. Studies investigating the mechanism by ...


Tissue-Specific Regulation Of Pnmt By Intron Retention During Neural Development, Meeti Mehta 2020 University of Central Florida

Tissue-Specific Regulation Of Pnmt By Intron Retention During Neural Development, Meeti Mehta

Digital Repository: Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence

No abstract provided.


Involvement Of The Sigma-1 Receptor In Methamphetamine-Mediated Changes To Astrocyte Structure And Function, Richik Neogi 2020 University of Kentucky

Involvement Of The Sigma-1 Receptor In Methamphetamine-Mediated Changes To Astrocyte Structure And Function, Richik Neogi

Theses and Dissertations--Medical Sciences

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive psychostimulant drug. There are currently no FDA-approved pharmacological treatments for methamphetamine addiction. Pharmacologically, (+)-methamphetamine is a dopamine releasing agent and dopamine transporter substrate that redistributes dopamine from intracellular vesicles via the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) and reverses the direction of dopamine transport in the dopamine transporter. Methamphetamine, cocaine, and other drugs of abuse are also sigma-1 receptor ligands, and previous studies have demonstrated the role of the sigma-1 receptor in modulating the behavioral and cellular effects of these drugs. However, almost all these studies were conducted in cell culture systems or with emphasis on ...


Epigenetic Alterations At Synaptic Plasticity Genes In A Genetically Heterogeneous Rat Model Of Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Doan M. On 2020 Virginia Commonwealth University

Epigenetic Alterations At Synaptic Plasticity Genes In A Genetically Heterogeneous Rat Model Of Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Doan M. On

Theses and Dissertations

Sensorimotor gating impairments are observed across a range of neuropsychiatric conditions. The prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response (PPI) is a validated measure of sensorimotor gating. Genetic and pharmacological manipulations in rodents have shown PPI is regulated by specific brain monoaminergic systems. Using genetically heterogeneous NIH-HS rats, we stratified individuals by %PPI. In low PPI animals, we observed elevated mRNA levels of certain neurotransmitter receptors, including metabotropic glutamate receptor Grm2, dopamine receptors Drd1 and Drd2, serotonin receptors Htr1a and Htr2a, and scaffolding protein Homer1, in the frontal cortex (FC) and striatum (STR). We found Drd2 mRNA levels were significantly ...


Cerebrovascular Dysfunction And Degeneration In Alzheimer’S Disease Pathophysiology, Dominic Dimitri Quintana 2020 West Virginia University

Cerebrovascular Dysfunction And Degeneration In Alzheimer’S Disease Pathophysiology, Dominic Dimitri Quintana

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a terminal illness and the most common form of dementia, which disproportionately affects the aged population. The pathophysiology of AD is characterized by neurodegeneration that slowly progresses, affecting regions of the brain that are involved in learning, memory, language, and executive function. In patients with the disease, early symptoms include non-disruptive forgetfulness that evolves into the inability to form new memories and ultimately the loss of autonomy at late stages. Histopathological hallmarks in the brain from patients with AD is the presence of amyloid-β (Aβ)-plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) deposited in the parenchyma. Since ...


Divergence In Neuronal Calcium Dysregulation In Brain Aging And Animal Models Of Ad, Adam Ghoweri 2020 University of Kentucky

Divergence In Neuronal Calcium Dysregulation In Brain Aging And Animal Models Of Ad, Adam Ghoweri

Theses and Dissertations--Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences

Neuronal calcium dysregulation first garnered attention during the mid-1980’s as a key factor in brain aging, which led to the formulation of the Ca2+ hypothesis of brain aging and dementia. Indeed, many Ca2+-dependent cellular processes that change with age, including an increase in the afterhyperpolarization, a decrease in long-term potentiation, an increased susceptibility to long-term depression, and a reduction in short-term synaptic plasticity, have been identified. It was later determined that increased intracellular Ca2+ with age was due to increased Ca2+ channel density, elevated release from intracellular Ca2+ stores, and decreased Ca2 ...


The First Orally Deliverable Small Molecule For The Treatment Of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Ravindra N. Singh, Eric W. Ottesen, Natalia N. Singh 2020 Iowa State University

The First Orally Deliverable Small Molecule For The Treatment Of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Ravindra N. Singh, Eric W. Ottesen, Natalia N. Singh

Biomedical Sciences Publications

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. SMA is mostly caused by low levels of Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein due to deletion of or mutation in the SMN1 gene. Its nearly identical copy, SMN2, fails to compensate for the loss of SMN1 due to predominant skipping of exon 7. Correction of SMN2 exon 7 splicing by an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO), nusinersen (Spinraza™), that targets the intronic splicing silencer N1 (ISS-N1) became the first approved therapy for SMA. Restoration of SMN levels using gene therapy was the next. Very recently, an orally deliverable small ...


Neuroanatomy Of The Blackspotted Rockskipper, Entomacrodus Striatus, Pooja Dayal 2020 The University of Akron

Neuroanatomy Of The Blackspotted Rockskipper, Entomacrodus Striatus, Pooja Dayal

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

Here I characterized the central neuroanatomy of the Blackspotted Rockskipper, Entomacrodus striatus, native to French Polynesia. The neuroanatomy of E. striatus has not been studied prior to this paper. I used several histology and antibody staining techniques to accomplish this, including Crystal Violet, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and Bielschowsky’s Silver Nitrate staining. This paper describes the most successful techniques used, identifies major structures in the species’ neuroanatomy, and also explains why studying E. striatus is important in the future of vertebrate research.


Non-Invasive Method For Leptin Supplementation In Zebrafish (Danio Rerio), Regan McNamara 2020 The University of Akron

Non-Invasive Method For Leptin Supplementation In Zebrafish (Danio Rerio), Regan Mcnamara

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

I tested the hypothesis that recombinant leptin protein can be introduced to zebrafish in vivo through non-invasive soaking in a solution containing the protein. One way to study various molecules’ effects in vivo is through intraperitoneal or intracerebroventricular injections during the embryonic or larval stage, which is invasive, difficult to administer, and can have a high mortality rate. 48 hours post fertilization (hpf) zebrafish were soaked in a His-tagged recombinant leptin protein solution at 10 nM and 100 nM concentrations (produced by Genscript). After soaking, zebrafish larvae were washed extensively to remove all recombinant protein on their exterior before homogenization ...


Optimization And Validation Of The Neurolux Wireless Optoelectronics System For Optogenetics, Karis Courey, Su Hyun Lee Ph.D., Adam Smith Ph.D., Nicholas Cilz Ph.D., Sarah K. Williams Avram Ph.D., Adi Cymerblit-Sabba Ph.D., June Song, Nicholas Leipzig Ph.D., W. Scott Young M.D., Ph.D. 2020 University of Akron

Optimization And Validation Of The Neurolux Wireless Optoelectronics System For Optogenetics, Karis Courey, Su Hyun Lee Ph.D., Adam Smith Ph.D., Nicholas Cilz Ph.D., Sarah K. Williams Avram Ph.D., Adi Cymerblit-Sabba Ph.D., June Song, Nicholas Leipzig Ph.D., W. Scott Young M.D., Ph.D.

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

Utilizing light and genetic engineering, optogenetics permits the manipulation of events within cells via light using the light-sensitive properties of single-component microbial opsins. Microbial opsins are activated by a light source, such as lasers, light-emitting diodes, and incandescent sources that deliver light to the region of interest either directly or indirectly, such as through fiberoptics. In classical in vivo optogenetics, the wiring of optic fibers necessitates tethering of animals by the optic fiber to the light source. The novel NeuroLux wireless optoelectronic system for optogenetics circumvents issues pertaining to classical optogenetics by utilizing near-field power transfer via magnetic coil antennae ...


Assessing Morphology Of Iprgcs After Traumatic Brain Injury, Brian Foresi, Matt Smith 2020 The University of Akron

Assessing Morphology Of Iprgcs After Traumatic Brain Injury, Brian Foresi, Matt Smith

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

ipRGCs are retinal ganglion cells that project to visual processing centers of the brain for nonimage forming visual functions. The relation of ipRGCs to tramatic brain injury (TBI) is emerging as data has been published describing ipRGC functional changes in TBI affected military veterans. Major symptomologies of concussions, a mild form of TBI, also overlap with the function governed by sites in the brain with major ipRGC projection percentages. Assesing if a morphological change is occuring in the ipRGCs after a TBI could support the idea of a pathological mechanism of the injury. This study could also indicate further relevance ...


Targeting The Nt17 Of The Huntingtin Protein Via Natural And Chemical Modifications: Impact On Aggregation And Membrane Interactions, Faezeh Sedighi 2020 WVU

Targeting The Nt17 Of The Huntingtin Protein Via Natural And Chemical Modifications: Impact On Aggregation And Membrane Interactions, Faezeh Sedighi

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports

Huntington Disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded polyglutamine domain (polyQ) in the first exon of the huntingtin protein (htt-exon1). The major hallmark of HD is the accumulation of aggregates into proteinaceous inclusion bodies. PolyQ expansion in huntingtin promotes self-assembly into a variety of toxic aggregates such as oligomers, fibrils, and amorphous aggregates. The resulting heterogeneous mixture of distinct species makes it difficult to assign a toxic function to specific aggregate structures. In addition, htt interacts with a variety of membranous surfaces. The first 17 amino acids (Nt17) of htt directly flanking the polyQ domain functions ...


Combination Of Investigational Cell-Based Therapy And Deep Brain Stimulation To Alter The Progression Of Parkinson’S Disease, Nader El Seblani 2020 University of Kentucky

Combination Of Investigational Cell-Based Therapy And Deep Brain Stimulation To Alter The Progression Of Parkinson’S Disease, Nader El Seblani

Theses and Dissertations--Pharmacy

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the motor symptoms are caused by progressive loss of midbrain dopamine neurons. There is no current treatment that can slow or reverse PD. Our current “DBS-Plus” clinical trial (NCT02369003) features the implantation in vivo of autologous Schwann cells (SCs) derived from a patient’s sural nerve into the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) in combination with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) therapy for treating patients with advanced PD.

The central hypothesis of our research is that transdifferentiated SCs within conditioned nerve tissue will deliver pro-regenerative factors to enhance the ...


Factors Influencing Huntingtin Aggregation At Surfaces: Implications For Huntington’S Disease, Sharon E. Groover 2020 West Virginia University

Factors Influencing Huntingtin Aggregation At Surfaces: Implications For Huntington’S Disease, Sharon E. Groover

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports

Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a genetic, neurodegenerative disease characterized by an abnormal polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion in the first exon of the huntingtin protein (htt). The polyQ domain facilitates aggregation and initiates the formation of a diverse collection of aggregate species, including fibrils, oligomers and annular aggregates. The first 17 amino acids of htt (Nt17) directly flank the polyQ domain and is a key factor in htt’s association to membranous structures. In addition to Nt17 being an amphipathic αhelix, it also promotes aggregation through self-association and contains numerous posttranslational modifications (PTMs) that can modulate toxicity and subcellular localization. For ...


The Interplay Of Progestins, Matrix Metalloproteinases, And The Aging Brain, Keyana Nicole Porter 2020 West Virginia University

The Interplay Of Progestins, Matrix Metalloproteinases, And The Aging Brain, Keyana Nicole Porter

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports

Progestins are synthetic hormones that are designed to mimic the biological actions of progesterone. They, however, possess other pharmacological actions and properties, in addition to their progestational activities. Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (MPA) is a progestin used globally in the hormonal contraceptive, Depo Provera®, by women in their reproductive prime and is a major compound found in hormone therapy (HT) formulations used by menopausal women. MPA is used by approximately 1 in 5 adolescents and adult women in the United States who are sexually active. Globally, nearly 48 million women utilize injectable contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, with most users utilizing MPA as ...


Biomechanics And Neural Control Of Movement: Cmi's Effects On Downstream Motor Processing And Gait In Forwards And Backwards Walking, Christopher Choi 2020 Claremont Colleges

Biomechanics And Neural Control Of Movement: Cmi's Effects On Downstream Motor Processing And Gait In Forwards And Backwards Walking, Christopher Choi

CMC Senior Theses

Analyzing the effects of cognitive motor interferences (CMI) on walking is usually done in patients with neurological comorbidity or during forward walking (FW). However, there are few studies that examine gait differences between FW and backward walking (BW) under the presence of CMI when speed is kept constant on a treadmill. In this study we examined how CMI would disrupt sensory feedback and affect the descending motor pathway. We hypothesized that subjects that walked backwards and were given a cognitive task would show the greatest differences in gait due to a lack of visual input and the presence of CMI ...


Novel Post-Translational Modification And Function Of Fus: The Relevance To Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alexandra Arenas 2020 University of Kentucky

Novel Post-Translational Modification And Function Of Fus: The Relevance To Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Alexandra Arenas

Theses and Dissertations--Toxicology and Cancer Biology

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the preferential death of motor neurons. Approximately 10% of ALS cases are familial and 90% are sporadic. Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) is a ubiquitously expressed RNA binding protein implicated in familial ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FUS is ubiquitously expressed in cells and has a variety of functions in the nucleus and cytoplasm. FUS mutations in the nuclear localization sequence (NLS) causes mislocalization of FUS in the cytoplasm, where it can undergo liquid-liquid phase separation and become stress granules or protein inclusions. Although FUS inclusion bodies can be found in ...


Transcriptome Analysis Of Neuro-2a Cells Treated With Asiatic And Madecassic Acid, Fatimah M. Alqam 2020 Eastern Illinois University

Transcriptome Analysis Of Neuro-2a Cells Treated With Asiatic And Madecassic Acid, Fatimah M. Alqam

Masters Theses

Traditional herbal medicine is ingrained as a source of therapeutic compounds to medicate various diseases. The family Araliaceae (Ginseng family) is rich in traditional medicine species, such as Centella asiatica (CA). For many centuries, CA has been used by the indigenous Indian and Chinese in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine, respectively, to improve intelligence, learning, memory, and cognitive performance. Previous studies on cell culture and animal models supported the beneficial effects of CA on the nervous system. However, the exact composition of CA extract and its molecular mechanism that leads to neuroprotection is still unclear. We examined the effect of asiatic ...


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