We are manipulating both the levels and the site of expression of different stress-related neuropeptides and receptors, within key CNS regions, and studying the specific neuronal circuits mediating their effects by analyzing their neuroendocrine and behavioral stress-related phenotypes and biochemical neuroanatomy tools. We are designing and generating transgenic mice models, lentiviruses and combined models, for site-specific knockdown/knockout or over-expression of stress-related neuropeptides and receptors.
Mouse Genetics and Lentiviruses
Grip Strengh System
The Grip Strength system (TSE-systems) assesses the gripping strength of mice as an indicator of neuromuscular functions; This system is used to quantify the effects of hormones, toxins, muscle relaxants as well as diseases or the aging process that affect neuromuscular or muscular functions. In a test trial a mouse pulls a special height-adjustable grip which is connected to a high-precision force sensor (up to 600 pounds).
Gene Regulation and Molecular Mechanisms
We are studying the regulation of stress-related neuropeptides and receptors at the protein, mRNA and promoter levels. We explore the molecular mechanisms of central stress-related neuropeptides and receptors, express in distinct brain nuclei, by identifying downstream genes and pathways. We dissect specific brain nuclei from different mice models or following specific stress-related paradigm and determine the gene expression and microRNA profiles using microarray technology and bioinformatics analysis. Confirmation of candidate genes or microRNAs, using Real-Time PCR, in-situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry or western blot, is followed by in vivo functional analysis using mouse genetics and/or direct siRNA-lentiviral approach.