Subcategory: Physiology and Health
Room: Exhibit Hall
Nishtha Tripathi - St. Bonaventure University
Co-Author(s): Desiree Macchia, University of California at Irvine, CA; Kevin Beier, University of California at Irvine, CA
According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are neurodegenerative brain disorders currently affecting millions of Americans. Early symptoms of AD include a decline in non-memory related cognition and/or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), while PD symptoms include uncontrolled movements and cognitive decline. It is important to study the progression of these symptoms in animal models to better be able to create individualized therapies. This study explored AD, PD, and control mice performance on two cognitive memory tasks and two motor behavioral tasks. We hypothesized that young AD and PD mice (at a time point before symptoms arise) would perform similarly to control mice and that aged AD and PD mice would perform significantly worse than the control mice. The object location memory (OLM) behavior task tests a mouse’s ability to remember the location of an object presented the day before test day and the object recognition memory task tests a mouse’s ability to recognize an object presented the day before test day. A positive discrimination index (DI) on test day is considered successful learning and is indicative of memory formation. The rotarod and wire hang motor tasks test a mouse’s basic motor control. 2-3 month old animals were used for the young group and 8-9 months for the aged group, with both sexes represented in all groups.Though there was a small trend that young AD mice had greater exploration times than aged AD mice in both training and test phases of OLM and ORM, these differences were not significant. For OLM young AD mice, there was a trend in positive DIs between training and test phases, yet it was not significant (p = 0.0875). OLM aged AD mice displayed DIs close to zero, indicating that learning did not occur, consistent with our hypothesis. ORM AD young mice did display a significantly positive DI (p = 0.0182), while ORM AD aged mice displayed a trend towards learning, yet the sample size was too low to determine significance. PD young and aged mice both performed worse on the wirehang and rotarod tests, as indicated by lower latency to fall times, with the differences being greater in the aged PD mice. For future experiments, we hope to continue testing both the motor and memory tasks using greater sample sizes and testing aged AD/PD model mice in comparison to control mice. Additionally our lab utilizes rabies virus mapping and calcium imaging to elucidate the neuronal circuitry pathways and their subsequent activity signatures that contribute to these behavioral symptoms.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Thank you to Desiree Macchia for her mentoring and guidance, to all members of the Beier Lab for being so welcoming, and to Director Manuella Yassa for her support throughout the course of the program. Thank you to the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Defense, and the University of California at Irvine for funding the Summer Institute in Neuroscience REU Program and for making this research possible.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kevin Beier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I was involved in running all memory and motor tasks for each mouse from beginning to end; this included handling mice, cleaning and setting up behavior testing apparatuses, running each test/recording, uploading video data, scoring it, and calculating DIs. My mentor assisted me in creating graphs and conducting statistical testing.