Seminars & Events
Monday, February 11, 2013: Dr. Daphne Soares (University of Maryland College Park) will speak on "The Sensory World of Cavefishes" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, March 4, 2013: Dr. Joe Cheer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Endogenous Cannabinoids and the Pursuit of Reward" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, April 12, 2013: Dr. Jill McGaughy (University of New Hampshire) will speak on "The Role of Cortical Norepinephrine in the Ontogeny of Executive Function" at 3:00 pm in Schaefer Hall 106.
Dr. Erin Johnson '02 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and was inducted as an alumni member of Nu Rho Psi.
Ron Saul, "Chronic activation of the substantia nigra nociceptin/orphanin receptor induces motor deficits similar to Parkinson's disease," 2008. Saul, the 2008 winner of the Neuroscience Award, infused a drug into the substantia nigra of rats and measured the resulting motor behaviors, mood disturbances, and cognitive abilities.
Kircher, D.M., and Brady, A.M. (2010, November). An investigation of the behavioral effects of perinatal bisphenol-A exposure in comparison to disruptions observed in animal models of schizophrenia.
Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
The endocrine disrupting chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) found in many products including bottles and food containers, can cross the placental barrier and potentially produce changes in offspring. In mice perinatal BPA treatment decreases dopamine D3 receptor density and increases D1 receptor production in adulthood. Similar disruptions in dopaminergic function have also been observed in the neonatal vental hippocampal lesion (NVHL) animal model of schizophrenia. To assess the potential similarities between BPA exposure and developmental animal models of schizophrenia, the present study examined the effects of perinatal BPA treatment on several behaviors known to be disrupted in the NVHL and other models. Pregnant Sprague Dawley females were treated with a low dose of BPA (20 µg/kg/day) or corn oil vehicle from embryonic day (ED) 13 until weaning at postnatal day (PD) 21. Upon reaching adulthood (PD 56) male offspring (BPA, n= 11; vehicle, n = 10) underwent behavioral testing. Pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response was measured in acoustic startle chambers. Perinatal BPA exposure did not alter PPI (p = .832). Locomotion in response to a novel (stressful) environment was assessed using an automated activity chamber. Animals perinatally exposed to BPA had increased locomotion as time in the chamber progressed compared to vehicle treated animals (p = .047). Social interaction was assessed by placing animals into the open field with a novel partner of the same treatment and recording nonaggressive social, aggressive social, and nonsocial/individual behavior. Perinatal BPA exposure lead to decreases in sniffing/grooming of the partner animal in adulthood (p = .006). A decrease in total nonaggressive social behaviors in BPA exposed-animals approached significance (p = .09). Spatial memory was assessed using the Morris Water Maze. Escape latency and time spent in the quadrant during a probe trial was recorded for all animals. Perinatal BPA exposure did not alter escape latency during four days of acquisition (p = .994) however, BPA exposure decreased time spent in the target quadrant on the probe test (p = .001). Finally perinatal BPA exposure did not alter the number of dopamine cells in the SN, assessed via tyrosine hydroxolase immunohistochemistry (p = .395). Exposure to a low dose of BPA produces mild deficits in adulthood on behaviors that are also disrupted in animal models of schizophrenia.