Event Title

Investigation of Disc1 gene status and stress exposure in female rats on behavior and hippocampal plasticity

Presenter Information

Julia Mitchell, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Diamond 242

Start Date

30-4-2015 3:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2015 3:55 PM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

The goal of the present study was to characterize the behavioral and neural effects of a biallelic deletion within the Disc1 (disrupted in schizophrenia 1) gene in female rats as a function of chronic stress exposure or control conditions. Mutations in the Disc1 gene are associated with increased incidence of psychiatric illness, particularly schizophrenia but also depression and bipolar disorder. A common feature of these disorders is the contributing factor of stress. Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that exposure to chronic unpredictable stress would significantly worsen the effects of the gene deletion. To do this, DISC1 knockout and wildtype rats were exposed to either 3 weeks of chronic unpredictable stress or maintained under normal colony conditions. At the end of the stress period, all rats underwent a battery of tests to evaluate emotionality and cognition. Rats were then sacrificed and brains retained for analyses of neural and genomic markers. The preliminary behavioral findings offer some, but incomplete, support for the hypothesis; the neural assays are underway.

Faculty Sponsor

Melissa Glenn

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Psychology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

1141

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Apr 30th, 3:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:55 PM

Investigation of Disc1 gene status and stress exposure in female rats on behavior and hippocampal plasticity

Diamond 242

The goal of the present study was to characterize the behavioral and neural effects of a biallelic deletion within the Disc1 (disrupted in schizophrenia 1) gene in female rats as a function of chronic stress exposure or control conditions. Mutations in the Disc1 gene are associated with increased incidence of psychiatric illness, particularly schizophrenia but also depression and bipolar disorder. A common feature of these disorders is the contributing factor of stress. Thus, this study tested the hypothesis that exposure to chronic unpredictable stress would significantly worsen the effects of the gene deletion. To do this, DISC1 knockout and wildtype rats were exposed to either 3 weeks of chronic unpredictable stress or maintained under normal colony conditions. At the end of the stress period, all rats underwent a battery of tests to evaluate emotionality and cognition. Rats were then sacrificed and brains retained for analyses of neural and genomic markers. The preliminary behavioral findings offer some, but incomplete, support for the hypothesis; the neural assays are underway.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/357