Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Carlos M. Granados - University of the District of Columbia
Co-Author(s): Rosie Sneed, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
Previously, we have demonstrated that treatment of the North American brown planarian, Girardia tigrina, with the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55-212,22 (10 micromolar) interferes with the animal’s ability to regenerate lost body parts and tissues. After decapitation, cephalic regeneration is significantly reduced, including reduced or absent ocelli, the planarian visual organs. Genes involved in planarian ocelli development include sine oculis (six-1), which is constitutively expressed and required to maintain functional ocelli. We wanted to test the hypothesis that cannabinoids inhibit expression of sine oculis, leading to reduced or absent ocelli. Specimens of G. tigrina were maintained under standard laboratory conditions and all animals were fasted 7 days prior to all experiments. Decapitated planarians were placed into one of the following groups: media control, DMSO solvent control, and 10 micromolar WIN 55-212,22. Total RNA was extracted at 25 hrs and sine oculis expression was assessed with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. No differences were observed in the levels of expression of sine oculis between controls and animals treated with WIN 55,212-22. These data suggest that cannabinoids do not affect planarian sine oculis expression directly and may affect genes upstream of sine oculis. Future studies will focus on the gene runt, which is required for both head and ocelli development. This research was funded by the UDC STEM Center (NSF/HBCU-UP-HRD-0928444).
Funder Acknowledgement(s): UDC STEM Center; NSF/HBCU-UP
Faculty Advisor: Freddie Dixon, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: The part of the research I participated was in seeing if the cannabinoid WIN inhibited the gene Sine Oculis.