'The effect of hypoxia on the noradrenergic Locus Coeruleus' - NSCI 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Maria Pompeiano

Supervisor's Email: maria.pompeiano [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514-398 6080

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Psychology

Course number: NSCI 396 (Neuroscience)

Term: Summer 2013

Project start date: Monday, May 13, 2013

Project end date: Friday, August 30, 2013

Project title: The effect of hypoxia on the noradrenergic Locus Coeruleus

Project description:

It is believed that in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), hypoxia does not wake up a sleeping child, resulting in death. It has been hypothesized that the arousal system is negatively affected by prenatal events, including hypoxia, and this could contribute to the etiology of SIDS.

This project will investigate whether hypoxia affects a component of the arousal system, the noradrenergic locus coeruleus, in a chick embryo model.The student will compare the relative content of active noradrenergic locus coeruleus neurons in E18 chick embryos that have been exposed to hypoxia for a few hours before sacrifice to control chick embryos kept in normoxic conditions. Specifically, the student will use double labeling immunofluorescence for tyrosine hydroxylase (the enzyme that catalyzes the first step in catecholamine synthesis, thus a marker of catecholaminergic neurons) and c-Fos (a member of the immediate early gene transcription factors, thus an indicator of neural activation) to quantify active noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus, therefore indicating the activity of the noradrenergic locus coeruleus component of the activating system. The student will become familiar with immunohistochemistry techniques, as well as sectioning with a cryostat microtome and software quantification of the resulting histological slides.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): 50% lab performance; 50% final report.

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.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves NEITHER animal subjects, nor human subjects, nor biohazardous substances, nor radioactive materials, nor handling chemicals, nor using lasers.