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Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Rats: Gender and Strain Differences

Formica, Anastasia M and Hayes, Dayna (2016) Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Rats: Gender and Strain Differences. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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There is a comprehensive body of research indicating that neurogenesis continues throughout adulthood. This process by which new neurons are born and integrated into existing brain circuitry takes place in four stages: cell proliferation, differentiation, maturation, and survival. One of the primary regions where neurogenesis occurs is the hippocampus, which plays an extensive role in learning and memory. Though investigators have analyzed how various experimental interventions might affect neurogenesis, the research has almost exclusively been conducted in male Sprague-Dawley rats. However, various gender and strain differences are known to exist. For instance, females are more likely to consume addictive substances that inhibit neurogenesis while androgens in males have been shown to enhance cell proliferation. Additionally, Long-Evans rats have generally outperformed Sprague-Dawley rats in several hippocampal-dependent learning tasks. To date there has not been a comprehensive study to examine whether significant baseline gender and/or strain differences in hippocampal neurogenesis exist. To that end, adult (~6.5 months old) male and female Sprague-Dawley and Long-Evans rats were perfused without exposure to experimental manipulations. Brains were collected, sliced, and stained for Ki67 immunoreactivity, a common indicator of cell proliferation. Cells expressing Ki67 are being counted and compared. It was predicted that Long-Evans rats and male rats would show significantly higher levels of neurogenesis than their respective counterparts. The results of this study indicate that there are no fundamental differences in neurogenesis between Long-Evans and Sprague-Dawley rats, or between male and female rats. Furthermore, there was not a significant interaction between both factors.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Anastasia Formica
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2017 17:50
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2017 17:50

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