Grant: $22,484 - National Institutes of Health - Jul. 19, 2009
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Award Description: Title of parent grant: 'Sex chromosome effects on neural development Title of summer project supporting minority student research: 'The effects of stress and cortagine on propulsive colonic contractions in mice The overall goal of the parent project is to determine the effects of sex chromosome complement on sex differences (1) in stress effects on the gastrointestinal system and (2) on nociception. The project uses the novel 'four core genotypes mouse model, which produces mice that are XX or XY gonadal males, and XX or XY gonadal females. The award supported Hector Alcala during the summer of 2009 (from mid-June to late September), who performed research to investigate sex chromosome effects on stress-induced colonic motility in an extended research project. Mr. Alcala received his B.S. degree from UCLA in June 2009, and will enroll in the UCLA Master’s in Public Health program in September 2009. During the period of the support, Mr. Alcala read background literature on the effects of stress on the gastrointestinal system, and on the study of sex differences in the physiology of disease. Based on one-on-one training from lab members, he became familiar with the 'four core genotypes mouse model that our lab has developed. He conducted a series of three separate behavioral tests on mice under the direct supervision of the PI and Dr. Xuqi Chen in our lab. He measured group differences in behavior, analyzed results using NCSS statistical software, and presented the results to the PI for discussion. Mr. Alcala wrote a paper to summarize the results. This summer research project was successful in several respects. (1) Mr. Alcala learned useful skills for research and quantitative analysis. As a result of this experience, he is also thinking more seriously about pursuing a PhD degree. (2) We learned that we need to change the testing conditions for cortagine (see below). (3) We successfully piloted measurements of urine output in addition to the FPO measurements.
Project Description: The research project was to use gonadectomized C57BL6/J mice in several tests of stress on fecal pellet output (FPO), a measure of propulsive colonic contractions. These measurements are a model of stress effects that cause Irritable Bowl Disease in humans. Mr. Alcala followed protocols established in prior research by our collaborator, Dr. Yvette Taché. Mice were divided into four groups based on their genotype. These groups were XX gonadal males, XY gonadal males, XX gonadal females, and XY gonadal females. Mice were gonadectomized at 75 days of age and tested several months later. Mice were placed in an open field container for one hour, and the number of fecal pellets produced was counted every 15 minutes. One week later, the mice were tested in the same chamber except that water filled the bottom of the chamber except for a small platform in the middle. During this test, the mice sit on the platform or occasionally swim away from the platform. One week later, mice were injected with one of three doses of cortagine, a CRF receptor agonist, or vehicle. The mice were returned to their cages and FPO was measured every 15 minutes for one hour. Cortagine is a selective CRF receptor agaonist, which are thought to mediate the stress-induced increase in FPO. Thus, this part of the experiment tested if mice with different sex chromosome complement (XX vs. XY), which we have found differ in their response to restraint stress, also are different in their response to cortagine. If so, we conclude that the sex chromosome effect is mediate downstream from CRF receptors. The results showed little effect of cortagine, indicating that our experimental conditions were inappropriate for the test of cortagine’s action.
Jobs Summary: UCLA is a world-class educational institution in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis that threatens our mission to provide education, research and public service benefiting millions of people. ARRA funding to the University has enabled the creation and retention of jobs to support vital scientific research and training activities that would otherwise be severely constrained or eliminated through budget cuts. The type(s) of jobs created and retained by this ARRA-fund award includes: Scientific/Technical Professionals and Staff positions, such as Researchers, Post-Docs, Graduate Student Researchers, Project Managers and Statisticians. (Total jobs reported: 1)
Project Status: More than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jul. 19, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.