Title

Identification of genes involved in behavioral changes due to chronic serotonin treatment in the nematode, C. elegans)

Presenter Information

Tykayah Baird

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

C. elegans, serotonin, behavior

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a free-living soil roundworm with only 302 neurons, making them a model organism for studying the function of neural pathways that regulate behavior. Serotonin (5-HT) is a neurotransmitter that modulates behavior in many organisms. In wild-type worms, this exposure causes an acute slowing in locomotion, which can be quantified by measuring the speed of the worms using an automated tracking system. When treated with elevated levels of 5-HT exposure for 30 minutes, C. elegans speed will decrease, but when treated overnight (12-16 hours) the worms will return locomotory speed to levels close to untreated animals; a behavior termed behavioral adaptation. Another behavior associated with long-term 5-HT treatment occurs when worms are removed from 5-HT; which results in increased speeds above levels of untreated animals. This behavior is referred to as withdrawal. To identify the cell mechanisms for this behavior we examined known mutants with genes involved in 5-HT-mediated behaviors. GOA-1 is a G-protein that binds to a 5-HT receptor, SER-4. MOD-5 is a serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) that is involved in the reuptake of serotonin into the presynaptic neurons. goa-1 mutants when treated overnight with 5-HT fail to adapt or withdrawal. mod-5 mutants upon overnight 5-HT treatment were able to withdraw but failed to adapt. These results suggest a role for these proteins in controlling behavioral changes associated with chronic 5-HT treatment.

Poster Number

27

Faculty Mentor(s)

Carnell, Lucinda; Foss, Eric

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 15th, 8:30 AM May 15th, 11:00 AM

Identification of genes involved in behavioral changes due to chronic serotonin treatment in the nematode, C. elegans)

SURC Ballroom C/D

Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a free-living soil roundworm with only 302 neurons, making them a model organism for studying the function of neural pathways that regulate behavior. Serotonin (5-HT) is a neurotransmitter that modulates behavior in many organisms. In wild-type worms, this exposure causes an acute slowing in locomotion, which can be quantified by measuring the speed of the worms using an automated tracking system. When treated with elevated levels of 5-HT exposure for 30 minutes, C. elegans speed will decrease, but when treated overnight (12-16 hours) the worms will return locomotory speed to levels close to untreated animals; a behavior termed behavioral adaptation. Another behavior associated with long-term 5-HT treatment occurs when worms are removed from 5-HT; which results in increased speeds above levels of untreated animals. This behavior is referred to as withdrawal. To identify the cell mechanisms for this behavior we examined known mutants with genes involved in 5-HT-mediated behaviors. GOA-1 is a G-protein that binds to a 5-HT receptor, SER-4. MOD-5 is a serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) that is involved in the reuptake of serotonin into the presynaptic neurons. goa-1 mutants when treated overnight with 5-HT fail to adapt or withdrawal. mod-5 mutants upon overnight 5-HT treatment were able to withdraw but failed to adapt. These results suggest a role for these proteins in controlling behavioral changes associated with chronic 5-HT treatment.