NIH Research Festival
The protein kinase A regulatory subunit (PKA RIIŒ±) is ubiquitously expressed peripherally, but within the central nervous system is nearly exclusively expressed in the small epithalamic structure of the medial habenula. The habenula-interpeduncular nucleus network is known to modulate intrinsic motivation and aversive behavior as well as addiction and withdrawal. To explore what role PKA signaling has on behavior under aversive states, our lab compared the PKA RIIŒ± knockout (RIIŒ±KO) mouse to its wild-type counterpart in established aversion paradigms such as quinine aversion, lithium-chloride sucrose pairing, and conditioned place aversion. For bitter taste aversion, daily water supply was replaced with increasing concentrations of quinine (max. concentration 2,000uM). Standard error of mean suggested a needed increase in statistical power to draw conclusive results. Lithium-chloride sucrose pairing included a conditioning and testing phase, where 10% sucrose solution was paired with and without an i.p. injection of Li-Cl respectively. Our findings indicate significant differences in KO consumption of 10% sucrose between treatment with Li-Cl and saline compared to wild type. For conditioned place aversion, once morphine dependence was established, mice were confined to one chamber and withdrawal was precipitated with an i.p. injection of naloxone. Preliminary findings suggest a potential difference between average time spent in the aversive room between RIIŒ±KO and control. These findings provide new insight into the influence of medial habenular PKA signaling on behavior during aversive states.
Scientific Focus Area: Neuroscience
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