Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Biochemistry (not Cell and Molecular Biology and Genetics)
Amy Nguyen - University of Washington- Seattle
Co-Author(s): Jay Parrish, University of Washington; Kory Leudke, University of Washington
Class IV sensory neurons are proven to be one of the main reason why humans and other organisms experience nociception. However, the specific mechanisms that occur within the Class IV sensory neurons and the specific mechanisms that affect sensitivity to nociception are still unknown. Many scientists believe that the different ion channels that help run the Class IV sensory neurons play a crucial role in nociception sensitivity. This research can help people understand more about how to combat chronic pain as well as those who suffer from lack of pain sensitivity. In order to test this hypothesis, mutations were artificially created among Drosophila that would affect specific ions channels in order to do a behavioral analysis. These behavioral analyses take a look at the different types of nociception and how sensitivity each larval group is if certain ion channels were overexpressed or inhibited. Sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium channels were inhibited or overexpressed in order to determine if Drosophila larval displayed an increase or decrease of nociceptive sensitivity to chemical, thermal, and mechanical pain compared to their wildtype counterparts. These behavioral patterns were analyzed and compared to discover that sensory neurons have different mechanisms and backgrounds to helping the body detect pain. After analyzing the behavioral patterns of different Drosophila larval, it was proven that different ion channels affected the sensitivity of different nociceptive stimuli. Future research can be done on more complex organisms in order to help those who suffer from chronic pain or lack of pain sensitivity, but new questions arise for this research such as how can these ion channels be manipulated and are there any complications to manipulating ion channels.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): University of Washington Department of Biology The Parrish Lab University of Washington GenOM Project NIH 5R25HG007153-05 National Institute of Health National Science Foundation University of Washington Office of Research March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Award Klingenstein Fellowship in Neuroscience
Faculty Advisor: Lisa Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: My role in my lab was performing the behavioral nociceptive tests on the Drosophila larval and analyzing the results from the behavioral nociceptive test. I was also in charge of cross-breeding the different mutants among Drosophila in order to reproduce more test subjects. I also had to make sure that the test subject's ion channels were truly inhibited or over-expressed through microscopic imaging.