Egr3-/- Mice, a Mouse-Model of Schizophrenia, Show Decreased Levels of Htr2a mRNA in the Anterior Frontal Cortex after Sleep Deprivation Compared to WT Mice
AffiliationThe University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
MeSH SubjectsMental Disorders
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractIn the U.S., 1 in 25 adults experience serious mental illness each year. Despite ongoing research efforts, the pathogenesis of schizophrenia remains unknown. The aim of this study is to answer the question “Do Egr3-/- mice, a mouse-model of schizophrenia, show decreased levels of Htr2a mRNA in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) region of the brain after sleep deprivation (SD) compared to wild type (WT) mice?” Data resulting from the study will shed light on the pathogenesis of such a disabling mental disorder. Our study investigates the interaction between two of the genes linked to increased risk of schizophrenia, the early growth response (Egr) 3 gene and Htr2a, which encodes the serotonin 2a receptor (5HT2AR) in response to SD, a form of stress. We used a cohort of age-matched pairs of C57BL/6 Egr3-/- and WT male mice. Half of these underwent a SD protocol, while the other half served as a control group. Htr2a mRNA was quantified in four different brain regions via densitometry after it was visualized using in-situ hybridization. Our findings that Egr3-/- mice show statistically significant decreased expression levels of Htr2a mRNA in the PFC support our proposed biological pathway for schizophrenia risk.