Title

C. Elegans, as a Model to Study the Effects of the Antidepressant, Escitalopram, on Behavior

Presenter Information

Tykayah Baird

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Depression, Antidepressants, Adaptation

Abstract

Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in the world, and the use of antidepressant drugs to help with the effects associated with depression continues to rise. Depression is associated with low levels of serotonin (5-HT) in the neuronal synapses of the brain. Escitalopram (brand name Lexapro) is an widely used antidepressant and functions as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which increases levels of 5-HT at the synapse. While the acute effects of escitalopram are known, the effects of long-term use of escitalopram, which results in continuous elevation of 5-HT, have not yet been fully studied. We have chosen the roundworm, C. elegans, as a model to examine the long-term effects of escitalopram treatment. Acute 5-HT treatment slows locomotion in worm. Upon chronic 5-HT treatment, the worm will recover their speeds back to levels similar to that of untreated animals. This is a behavior termed adaptation. In C. elegans, food serves as a stimulus that releases 5-HT into the synapses of the worm causing them to slow; escitalopram enhances this slowing on food, which is expected of a drug that inhibits reuptake of 5-HT. We have begun studies to examine whether or not the chronic or long-term treatment of escitalopram also causes adaptation. In addition, we will test mutant worms that are defective in adaptation to 5-HT to see if they are also defective in adaptation to escitalopram. These studies could provide insight into the genes involved in cellular pathways that could be linked to depression.

Poster Number

41

Faculty Mentor(s)

Lucinda Carnell

Department/Program

Biological Sciences

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 21st, 8:30 AM May 21st, 11:00 AM

C. Elegans, as a Model to Study the Effects of the Antidepressant, Escitalopram, on Behavior

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in the world, and the use of antidepressant drugs to help with the effects associated with depression continues to rise. Depression is associated with low levels of serotonin (5-HT) in the neuronal synapses of the brain. Escitalopram (brand name Lexapro) is an widely used antidepressant and functions as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which increases levels of 5-HT at the synapse. While the acute effects of escitalopram are known, the effects of long-term use of escitalopram, which results in continuous elevation of 5-HT, have not yet been fully studied. We have chosen the roundworm, C. elegans, as a model to examine the long-term effects of escitalopram treatment. Acute 5-HT treatment slows locomotion in worm. Upon chronic 5-HT treatment, the worm will recover their speeds back to levels similar to that of untreated animals. This is a behavior termed adaptation. In C. elegans, food serves as a stimulus that releases 5-HT into the synapses of the worm causing them to slow; escitalopram enhances this slowing on food, which is expected of a drug that inhibits reuptake of 5-HT. We have begun studies to examine whether or not the chronic or long-term treatment of escitalopram also causes adaptation. In addition, we will test mutant worms that are defective in adaptation to 5-HT to see if they are also defective in adaptation to escitalopram. These studies could provide insight into the genes involved in cellular pathways that could be linked to depression.