Presentation Title

The Whole Brain Expression of Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Peptide (PACAP) from the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis (BNST); New Focus of the Medial Habenular Nucleus (MHb) and Stria Medullaris Pathway

Abstract

Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide whose functions range over the entire body, from cell functions and apoptosis, proliferation and differentiation, to metabolic, cardiovascular, endocrine, and neurological processes. It is upregulated during chronic stress and implements further activation of the stress pathway, while also being protective for both neurons and various cells during cellular damage and inflammation. PACAP mRNA has been found throughout the entire central nervous system, from the most anterior part of the brain in the olfactory cortex, down into sensory and motor spinal nuclei. PACAP expression has been found in both liver and cardiovascular tissue. In regards to chronic stress and anxiety, PACAP is highly active in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), as well as the central amygdala and hypothalamus. The vast range of structures and resulting functions that PACAP influences makes it a promising neuropeptide to study to understand the concept of whole body stress.

This study focused on the expression of PACAP throughout the whole brain of both stressed and unstressed mice to better understand the relationship of PACAP and other body systems that are affected by stress. This was achieved by infusion of a virus, that would fluorescently express PACAP cells, into the BNST to see how stress impacts the expression of PACAP throughout the brain stemming from the BNST. While no stark difference was found between stressed and unstressed brains, new areas and pathways were discovered that had not been previously implicated in PACAP and stress. The medial habenular nucleus (MHb) and stria medullaris pathway were expressed robustly for almost all of the brains; this structure and pathway are important in mood disorders, PTSD, stress, memory and addiction. The BNST and PACAP play vital roles in these behaviors as well.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Sayamwong E Hammack

Status

Graduate

Student College

Graduate College

Program/Major

Accelerated RN-BS-MS

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

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The Whole Brain Expression of Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Peptide (PACAP) from the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis (BNST); New Focus of the Medial Habenular Nucleus (MHb) and Stria Medullaris Pathway

Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide whose functions range over the entire body, from cell functions and apoptosis, proliferation and differentiation, to metabolic, cardiovascular, endocrine, and neurological processes. It is upregulated during chronic stress and implements further activation of the stress pathway, while also being protective for both neurons and various cells during cellular damage and inflammation. PACAP mRNA has been found throughout the entire central nervous system, from the most anterior part of the brain in the olfactory cortex, down into sensory and motor spinal nuclei. PACAP expression has been found in both liver and cardiovascular tissue. In regards to chronic stress and anxiety, PACAP is highly active in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), as well as the central amygdala and hypothalamus. The vast range of structures and resulting functions that PACAP influences makes it a promising neuropeptide to study to understand the concept of whole body stress.

This study focused on the expression of PACAP throughout the whole brain of both stressed and unstressed mice to better understand the relationship of PACAP and other body systems that are affected by stress. This was achieved by infusion of a virus, that would fluorescently express PACAP cells, into the BNST to see how stress impacts the expression of PACAP throughout the brain stemming from the BNST. While no stark difference was found between stressed and unstressed brains, new areas and pathways were discovered that had not been previously implicated in PACAP and stress. The medial habenular nucleus (MHb) and stria medullaris pathway were expressed robustly for almost all of the brains; this structure and pathway are important in mood disorders, PTSD, stress, memory and addiction. The BNST and PACAP play vital roles in these behaviors as well.