2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Hypoxia-Induced Activation of Respiratory Nuclei in the Ventral Brainstem of the Streptozotocin-Induced Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease


Mahima Thapa* and John W. Hooker
Dr. Tim Ostrowski (A.T Still University) and Dr. Daniela Ostrowski, Faculty Mentors

Besides memory impairment, patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) also develop cardiorespiratory problems and brainstem pathology. Using the streptozotocin (STZ)-induced model of AD, we found decreased hypoxia-induced cell activation in the nucleus tractus solitarii, a dorsal brainstem area integral for respiratory control. Here we concentrate on the activation of other brainstem nuclei relevant for chemoreflex function.

Sporadic AD was induced (1.5 mg/kg STZ, twice) and peripheral chemoreflex function tested with two hours of hypoxia (10% O2) using plethysmography. Immediately following hypoxia, brains were fixed and analyzed for cell activation (c-Fos).

Although not significant (4 rats/group), this ongoing study shows trends for decreased cell activation in the rostral ventral respiratory group, pre-Bötzinger complex, and the Bötzinger complex of AD rats when compared to vehicle control.

Decreased cell activation is consistent with decreased chemoreflex function in the STZ-rat model of AD.  This finding may help explain the respiratory symptoms developed in AD patients.

Keywords: Alzheimer's Disease, Rat model, Streptozotocin, Cell activation, c-Fos, Respiration, Hypoxia, Brain Nuclei

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 105-2
Location: MG 2001
Time: 8:15

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