Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department or Program
Janice Urban, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
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.
Mohamed, Anhar I., "Stress, Sex, and Brain: Functional Neuroanatomy of KCa2.2 Channels in The Basolateral Amygdala" (2014). Senior Theses.
Available for download on Friday, April 28, 2034