NSCI 396: 'Co-expression of the somatostatin receptor...' (Prof. T. Stroh)

INSTRUCTIONS - PROFESSORS: Fill out Sections A & B then submit this form online. (You will receive an email copy of the form. The Office for Undergraduate Research in Science will also post the project online, indicating whether the project is open for students to apply or taken.) DONE
INSTRUCTIONS - STUDENTS: You may receive this form by email, or you may download it after it has been posted. Either way, print this form. Complete and sign Section C on the hardcopy. Ask your supervisor to sign Section D. Take it to the department corresponding to the course number in Section A (this may or may not be your own department). Do not register for a '396' course on Minerva until you receive departmental permission.
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Name: Thomas Stroh
Email: thomas.stroh [at] mcgill.ca
Phone: 514-398-2719
Supervisor's department: None of the above
Supervisor's department (if none of the above) Neurology and Neurosurgery
Course number: NSCI396 (Neuroscience)
Term: Fall 2009-2010
Project start date: September 08;2009
Project end date: December 02, 2009
Project title: Co-expression of the somatostatin receptor subtypes 1 and 2A in neurons of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus – a quantitative stereological investigation
Project description: Growth hormone (GH) is a major regulator of body growth and metabolism. It is also a major player in the regulation of sleep and waking. In the male, GH secretion exhibits marked pulsatility and a characteristic ultradian periodicity. Major episodes of this GH secretion rhythm coincide with key periods of the circadian sleep-wake rhythm. GH secretion is under tight reciprocal control by the hypothalamic hormones, somatostatin (SST) and GH-releasing hormone (GHRH). Whereas SST neurons are concentrated in the periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, GHRH neurons are mainly found in the ventromedial region of the arcuate nucleus. We recently demonstrated that the SST receptor subtype 1 (sst1) is strikingly concentrated at postsynaptic specializations in arcuate neurons and this subcellular distribution is under the control of the GH secretion rhythm (Stroh et al., 2009). It had previously been shown that GHRH neurons express mRNA of two SST receptor subtypes, sst1 and sst2A (Tannenbaum et al., 1998). However, it is still unknown whether the sst1 and sst2A receptor proteins are expressed in the same cells and may interact in the mediation of SST’s effects on GHRH release and, by extension, GH secretion. Alternatively, sst1 and sst2A may mark separate neuronal populations within arcuate neurons, which would change our thinking of how SST may be involved in the central control of GH secretion. The present project aims at clarifying this question using simultaneous multicolor immunolabeling of sst1 and sst2A receptors in the arcuate nucleus of the male rat. The thus generated histological data will be analyzed through unbiased stereological analysis to create a realistic estimate of the populations of neurons in the arcuate nucleus that express sst1 and/or sst2A, respectively, and of the proportion of neurons co-expressing these two receptor subtypes. Subsequently, we will study whether female rats show the same distribution of receptor proteins in the arcuate nucleus as males and whether the subcellular localization of sst1 receptors in females underlies the same control through the GH secretion cycle as in males.
Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.
Other prerequisite, if applicable:  
Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): 50% laboratory performance, 50% written final report
Other project information:
Project status - This project is: Taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.
How students can apply: N/A; this project is filled.
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Ethics, safety, and training
Which of the following, if any, is involved? One or more of the following
Animal subjects [ ]
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Handling chemicals [x]
Using lasers [ ]
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