Date of Completion

2016

Document Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Psychology

Type of Thesis

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

William Falls

Keywords

Fear Conditioning, GSK, Extinction

Abstract

GSK3β is a serine threonine kinase that has been shown to influence numerous biological and psychological interactions, including the regulation of cell survival and cell death, as well as influencing mood disorders such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Preliminary data from our lab showed an exaggerated conditioned fear response in homozygous GSK3β knock-in (GSK3β KI) mice, which lacked the ability to phosphorylate GSK3β at the ser 389 site due to a serine to alanine substitution. Based on heightened fear responses previously observed in our lab, we predicted that increased expression GSK3β would result in a prolonged and heightened fear response, as GSK3β expression would interfere with the ability to turn off fear of a conditioned stimulus. These mutants were given five tone plus shock fear conditioning trials, followed by six days of tone alone fear extinction training. In contrast to our preliminary data, GSK3β KI mice did not show exaggerated conditioned fear, and showed no significant differences to wild type mice in fear extinction. To examine if these results were influenced by the age of the mice, a second study was conducted using two different age subsets of GSK3β KI mice. The results demonstrated that there were no significant differences in fear acquisition or extinction based on age.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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