Kunala, Manisha (ALUMNI) - Comparing Gene Expression in the Hippocampal Formation of Animals Subjected to Chronic Stress vs. Controls
Chronic stress involves a response to emotional pressure experienced for a long period of time. It is also a source of depressive disorders. Recent studies have suggested that chronic stress does not only have mental impacts, but also molecular impacts, specifically on cognition. In this study, it is hypothesized that chronic stress does have an influence on cognitive function. From hippocampal samples of repeated social defeat stressed mice and control mice, both mRNA levels and protein levels were analyzed. RNA was isolated, reverse transcribed, and a real-time quantitative PCR was conducted. For the proteins, after isolation, a BCA protein assay was conducted, and then multiple western blots were performed to observe their expression. Afterwards, data were collected and analyzed. A student’s t-test was performed to determine the significance of any change observed in the stressed mice. BDNF V, Synapsin 1 and Synapsin 2, at the mRNA level, were found to be significantly downregulated. At the protein level, pCREB was found to be surprisingly upregulated in the stressed mice. Overall, this chronic stress does impact cognition, but only to a certain extent and in variation.