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Brain mechanisms of psychiatric (anxiety, depression) and neurodegenerative (Alzheimer's disease) disorders focusing on rodent behaviour
Hungary(HuMSIRC)- Semmelweis University,Budapest
Laboratory of Behavioural and Stress Studies, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Budapest, Hungary, Szigony street 43.
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders are leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Their treatments are not solved, yet, partly because of the insufficient understanding of the disease mechanisms. To reveal this question as well as to try to develop new treatment options animal studies are required. Our laboratory has a long history in modelling these disorders. Beside behavioural examinations we study also the hormonal (ACTH, corticosterone) and vegetative (heart rate, core body temperature) stress reactions as well as brain activation by c-fos immunohistochemistry. With the help of opto- and pharmacogenetic techniques and transgenic animals we are able to manipulate specific cell-types on small brain areas, and follow the above mentioned consequences of these manipulations.
What is the aim of the project?
To better understand the development of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders with the hope to provide new treatment options.
What techniques and methods are used?
Rodent surgery with the help of a stereotaxic frame (injection viral vectors into the brain, implantation intracerebroventricular cannulas), implantation of a telemetric device into the abdominal cavity, adrenalectomy, ovariectomy. Afterwards behavioral experiments ( for example openfield, elevated plus maze, forced swimming, tail suspension, operant conditioning, shuttlebox, Morris water Maze, aggression tests etc.); Then tissue collection and immunohistochemistry for validation of the injections as well as for anatomical studies, using PCR as well (PCR means Polimerization chain reaction. PCR is a technique used in the lab to make millions of copies of a particular section of DNA. There are some stages: 1.Initialization, 2.Denaturation, 3.Annealing, 4.Extension, 5.Final elongation and Final hold).
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The students will learn how to plan an experiment properly, and how to read scientific paper with critical view. They will have the possibility to handle laboratory animals (rats and mice), help by conducting behavioural examination and analysing video recordings of the behavioral tests. They may get deeper insight into the brain structures and participate in histological as well as PCR examinations. They might have a hint how to prepare presentations of the data.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
weekly meetings, when the student and the tutor will discuss relevant recent papers.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster - The student will prepare a presentation - The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Interest in preclinical research on animals; handling mice and rats; some ideas about immunohistochemistry. Subjects passed: Anatomy, Physiology
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Science. 2019 Nov 29;366(6469). pii: eaay8746. doi: 10.1126/science.aay8746.
- Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 2;90:117-133. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2018.11.013. Epub 2018 Nov 20. Review.
- Behav Pharmacol. 2017 Dec;28(8):598-609. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000361. Review
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