Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Rats: Gender and Strain Differences
Anastasia Formica, Master’s in Psychology program, Clinical-Counseling Psychology Concentration
(Sponsoring faculty member: Dr. Dayna Hayes)
There is a comprehensive body of research indicating that neuro-genesis, a process by which new neurons are born and integrated into existing brain circuitry, continues throughout adulthood. One of the primary regions where this occurs is the hippocampus, which plays an extensive role in learning and memory. Unfortunately, the majority of research in this area has traditionally been done using male Sprague-Dawley rats despite the fact that research suggests there are a multitude of differences based on strain as well as gender. To date, no comprehensive studies have examined whether significant baseline gender differences in hippocampal neurogenesis exist. Thus, adult (~6.5 months old) male and female Sprague-Dawley and Long-Evans rats were perfused without exposure to experimental manipulations. Brains will be collected, sliced, and stained for Ki67 immunoreactivity, a common indicator of the cell proliferation phase of neurogenesis. Cells expressing Ki67 will be counted and compared. It is expected that there will be significant differences in neurogenesis between strains and between genders. The results may indicate a need to expand the field and increase generalizability by including various strains and both genders in future research.
2015-2016 Kemp Award Recipients' Research
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