Exploring novel calcium-handling processes in the brain: a behavioral mouse phenotyping approach
Aikaterini Britzolaki, Emily M Flaherty, Joseph E Saurine, Connor F Thelen
Intracellular calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis in the brain is critical for cell function and survival. Disruption of this balance elicits neuronal cell death, impaired long-term potentiation (LTP), and learning and memory deficits. Subsequently, abnormalities in cerebral Ca2+ handling are linked to numerous costly and devastating neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Research in our lab focuses on understanding the regulatory mechanisms of central Ca2+ handling. To this end, we have recently identified a novel Ca2+ regulatory protein that is expressed in the mouse brain. To understand the function of this gene in vivo, we are using a genetically modified mouse model that lacks the gene encoding for this protein. More specifically, mutant and wildtype (i.e., control) mice have undergone a series of behavioral tests to screen for potential phenotypical alterations caused by the genetic deletion of this gene. We have conducted behavioral tests to screen for anxiety (home-cage emergence test), grooming behavior (splash test) and memory consolidation (novel object recognition test). In this poster presentation, we will show compelling pilot data obtained by our group, indicating that loss of function of this novel Ca2+ regulatory protein in mice is accompanied by pronounced anxiolysis, enhanced grooming behavior and memory deficits.
Independent Research - Graduate
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project
"Exploring novel calcium-handling processes in the brain: a behavioral mouse phenotyping approach" (2017). Stander Symposium Projects. 997.