Class Year

2014

Date

4-9-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Neuroscience

First Advisor

Shubhik DebBurman

Second Advisor

Naomi Wentworth

Third Advisor

Lois Barr

Fourth Advisor

Janice Urban, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Abstract

Females are at a higher risk for developing anxiety disorders than males. Female rats show a heightened fear response, which is linked primarily to the basolateral amygdala (BLA), the brain structure associated with regulation of emotion. Within the BLA, KCa channels regulate neuronal excitability; altering expression of this channel influences expression of fear and anxiety. Despite sex differences in stress disorders and knowledge that KCa channels modulate BLA activity, the influence of sex on KCa channels is unclear. I tested the hypothesis that neurons in female rat amygdalae are more excitable than those of males due to decreased KCa channels expression. To test this hypothesis, I characterized BLA KCa channel expression using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry for mRNA and protein expression. I compared differences in expression in the BLA between females at varying estrogen levels and males. Although statistically non-significant, our observations suggest regional differences in KCa2.2 channel expression.

Available for download on Friday, April 28, 2034


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