Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Robert McGowan - Tuskegee University
Co-Author(s): Derell Hampton, Ira Tigner, Destina Campbell, Frank Chestnut, Kara Cromwell, Oresa Mitchell, Tim Purdie, Darielle Freemen, DeJuana Grant, Micoya Myers, Dasman Bolden, Kyishawn Kitts, and Deloris Alexander, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
One of the things that living organisms on this planet have in common is stress. Stress is a state of mental distress and anxiety. Stress is the brain’s way of communicating to the rest of the organism the need to adjust to physical, emotional, or environmental alterations. In some organisms, the female is better equipped to handle stress than male counterparts. Interleukin-10 (IL-10), also known as human cytokine synthesis inhibitory factor (CSIF), is an anti-inflammatory cytokine that plays a role in the regulation of immune responses. It is secreted by antigen-presenting cells, promotes the development of immunologic tolerance, and suppresses the production of inflammatory cytokines. IL-10 is also implicated in stress responses.
We designed a series of experiments with the objective of testing whether IL-deficient (knock-out) mice (IL-10 KO) had differential responses to stressful stimuli compared to Wild-type (WT) mice. For the methods, we chose to use three stimuli to induce stress; wet bedding, noise and rotation in a bingo-ball cage. In the wet bedding experiment, fourteen male and female mice were placed in separate cages. Different mice received different percentages of wet bedding added to their normal, dry cage bedding; 0%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. Mice were left in the bedding for 24 hours, then subjected to mouse husbandry procedures and their reactions were recorded by an observer. In the second experiment each mouse was placed in a separate cage. Except for the control group, all mice were separately challenged with the noisy stress of a glass flask filled with bingo balls being shaken for either 1, 2, or 3 minutes. In the third experiment, 36 WT mice were subjected to the rotational stress of being placed in a hand-cranked bingo-ball cage. Half of the 36 mice were male and the other half female. They were grouped into 18 groups, which had one male and one female. Each group was spun for 0 rotations for zero minutes (Control), 100 rotations for one minute, and 390 rotations for two minutes.
The results varied for each experiment. In conclusion, WT mice exhibited more stress than the KO mice when it came to the wet bedding and noises. Female WT mice handled the stress better than the males. WT mice exhibited more stress than the KO mice when it came to the wet bedding and noises, even though the KO mice had less IL-10. It is possible that the geneticallyaltered KO mice compensated for the loss of IL-10 by mutation.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute). Supported by the Dr. George Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station, CAENS and CVMNAH, Tuskegee University.
Faculty Advisor: Deloris Alexander,