Event Title

The Impact of Dexamethasone on Behavioral Development in Larval Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)

Graduation Year

2015

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

18-4-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

18-4-2015 10:00 AM

Description

Stress can have damaging effects on a developing organism. Cortisol, a glucocorticoid that is a critical component of the stress response, can readily permeate across the placenta barrier and may have long-lasting, deleterious effects on the stress response of the developing organism. The synthetic homologue of cortisol is dexamethasone (dex), a corticosteroid used as an anti-inflammatory drug in humans to treat various autoimmune diseases and cancer. Dex is also often given to preterm infants to accelerate fetal lung development prior to delivery. Research with animal models has linked prenatal dexamethasone exposure to increased fear reactivity, decreased locomotor activity, and elevated cortisol levels in response to stress, in addition to brain cell loss and neurodevelopmental disability. The present study uses larval Zebrafish (Danio rerio) to examine the effects of dex exposure on anxiety-related behavior during a window critical for Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Interrenal axis development. By varying exposure to dex (dex vs. control) and timing of exposure (0 to 12 hours or 12 to 24 hours post fertilization), and examining the effect on motor behaviors in 5 day old zebrafish larvae, this study will advance our understanding of the mechanisms by which stress may cause long-term changes in stress reactivity.

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Apr 18th, 9:00 AM Apr 18th, 10:00 AM

The Impact of Dexamethasone on Behavioral Development in Larval Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Stress can have damaging effects on a developing organism. Cortisol, a glucocorticoid that is a critical component of the stress response, can readily permeate across the placenta barrier and may have long-lasting, deleterious effects on the stress response of the developing organism. The synthetic homologue of cortisol is dexamethasone (dex), a corticosteroid used as an anti-inflammatory drug in humans to treat various autoimmune diseases and cancer. Dex is also often given to preterm infants to accelerate fetal lung development prior to delivery. Research with animal models has linked prenatal dexamethasone exposure to increased fear reactivity, decreased locomotor activity, and elevated cortisol levels in response to stress, in addition to brain cell loss and neurodevelopmental disability. The present study uses larval Zebrafish (Danio rerio) to examine the effects of dex exposure on anxiety-related behavior during a window critical for Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Interrenal axis development. By varying exposure to dex (dex vs. control) and timing of exposure (0 to 12 hours or 12 to 24 hours post fertilization), and examining the effect on motor behaviors in 5 day old zebrafish larvae, this study will advance our understanding of the mechanisms by which stress may cause long-term changes in stress reactivity.