Barrett, The Honors College Thesis/Creative Project Collection

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2012 2017

Substance abuse disorder is a debilitating condition characterized by recurring drug-seeking behaviors and high rates of relapse. In male rats, this tendency to engage in drug-seeking behavior can be inhibited by environmental enrichment (EE) during abstinence. We have shown previously that cocaine-seeking behavior is associated with an increase in addiction-related genes such as Arc and CamkIIa and a decrease in the microRNA miR-495. We have also shown that miR-495 inhibits expression of Arc and CamkIIa post-transcriptionally. Therefore, we hypothesize that reduced cocaine-seeking behavior in EE female rats is associated with a downregulation of these addiction-related genes as well as an ...

Contributors
St Peter, Madeleine Kay, Neisewander, Janet, Newbern, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2017-05

Glioblastoma multiforme is associated with a very low survival rate and is recognized as the most vicious form of intracranial cancer. The Akt gene pathway has three different isoforms, each of which has a different role in the tumors of GBM. Preliminary data suggests that Akt3 may work to decrease tumorigenicity. A produced image that visualizes the subcellular localization of Akt3 led the author to believe that Akt3 may reduce tumorigenicity by decreasing genomic instability caused by the cancer. To explore this, flow cytometry was performed on GBM cell lines with Akt3v1 over-expression, Akt3v2 over-expression, and a control glioma cell ...

Contributors
Ghorayeb, Antoine, Neisewander, Janet, Diehnelt, Chris, et al.
Created Date
2012-12

In this field study, 103 individuals from two different music festivals, one in California and one in Michigan, were surveyed to observe current attitudes surrounding harm reduction strategies associated with psychedelic drug usage in the EDM scene. Topics from the survey included but were not limited to the chemical testing of substances, frequency of usage, spacing between usage, and adverse effects associated with usage. It was concluded that harm reduction education should become more integrated within the EDM scene in order to provide research-based evidence for ravers to make better decisions for their health. While authorities have pushed “just say ...

Contributors
Forcade, Shea Danielle, Olive, Foster, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2016-12

MicroRNAs are small, non-coding transcripts that control gene expression by preventing mRNA from translating into proteins. They have been implicated to play a role in many drug addictions. We previously found that miR-495 targets several addiction-related genes (ARGs) and is highly expressed in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We also found miR-495 is downregulated in the NAc following acute cocaine administration, and cocaine motivation measured by breakpoint on a progressive ratio schedule of cocaine reinforcement is decreased when miR-495 is overexpressed. In this study, we manipulated the endogenous levels of miR-495 by using a viral vector. Using an animal model, rats ...

Contributors
Chaudhury, Trisha, Neisewander, Janet, Newbern, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2017-05

Drug addiction is a pervasive problem in society, as it produces major increases in health care costs, crime, and loss of productivity. With over 3 million long-term users in America alone, cocaine is one of the most identifiable and addictive drugs. Cocaine produces major neurological changes in the central nervous system, including widespread changes in gene expression. MicroRNAs are small, non-coding transcripts that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by preventing translation into function protein. Given that one miRNA can target several genes simultaneously, they have the potential to attenuate drug-induced changes in gene expression. We previously found that the microRNA miR-495 ...

Contributors
Galles, Nick, Neisewander, Janet, Bastle, Ryan, et al.
Created Date
2016-05

The organic cation transporter 3 (OCT3) is a polyspecific monoamine transporter found in the human and rat brain. In Rats, OCT3 is the only known monoamine transporter inhibited by physiological concentrations of corticosteroids. We hypothesized that CORT- mediated inhibition of OCT3 blocks the clearance of serotonin (5-HT) leading to an increase 5-HT receptor-mediated signaling. In experiment 1, due to conflicting reports on the location of OCT3 mRNA in the rat brain, in situ hybridization was performed on brain tissue sections. RNA was extracted from rat brain tissue, reverse transcribed into cDNA, and then polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to ...

Contributors
Tompkins, Heather Camila, Orchinik, Miles, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2013-05

Abstract: The RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK (RAS signaling cascade) pathway is a highly conserved biochemical signaling cascade that exists in every mammalian cell. The pathway is highly versatile in functionality due to hundreds of substrates that regulate metabolism, apoptosis, and proliferation in both adult and developing tissues. The RAS signaling cascade has been examined in the context of cancers since mutations can lead to the disruption of the cell cycle and unregulated cellular proliferation. In addition, germline mutations in the pathway have been shown to cause a group of syndromes known as RASopathies. RASopathies are marked by facial defects, seizures, developmental delays, and ...

Contributors
Gonzalez, Javier, Newbern, Jason, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2016-05

Abstract Cocaine is highly addictive because it exacerbates the action responsible for creating the feeling of “reward,” which is controlled by the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine receptors can be divided into five subtypes: D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5. The localization of D3 receptors is restricted to the mesolimbic pathway, which is often called the “reward pathway.” This pathway is associated with emotions, motivation, and behavior. There is evidence that these receptors are upregulated in response to the repeated use of psychostimulants, such as cocaine, making these receptors a potential target for pharmaceutical therapeutics for drug addiction. In the present study, ...

Contributors
Mendoza, Rachel Ann, Neisewander, Janet, Olive, Foster, et al.
Created Date
2017-05

Nicotine use is an outstanding public health problem with associated social and economic consequences. Nicotine is an active alkaloid compound in tobacco and is recognized as a psychoactive drug. Preclinically, nicotine addiction and relapse can be modeled using a self-administration-reinstatement paradigm. Here, we used a nicotine self-administration and contingent cue-induced reinstatement model to examine rapid, transient synaptic plasticity (t-SP) induced by nicotine cue-triggered motivation. Although preliminary, treatment with the NMDA GluN2B subunit antagonist, ifenprodil, reduced reinstated nicotine seeking, and increased the percentage of spines with smaller head diameters. Thus, future studies are needed to fully parse out the role of ...

Contributors
Mccallum, Joseph John, Gipson-Reichardt, Cassandra, Neisewander, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2017-05

Cocaine is a highly addictive psychostimulant that is widely used around the world. It is far more cost effective to curb this problem through treatment than by any other method as medicinal drug treatment is 15 times more effective than law enforcement at reducing the societal costs of cocaine use as determine by RAND corp. In a previous paper from our lab, it was found that via virally mediated introduction of additional 5-HT1B receptors into the nucleus accumbens there was a leftward shift in the cocaine intake dose-response curve in animals that were self-administering cocaine by pressing a lever. These ...

Contributors
Yanamandra, Krishna Teja, Neisewander, Janet, Goldstein, Elliott, et al.
Created Date
2013-05

Barrett, the Honors College accepts high performing, academically engaged students and works with them in collaboration with all of the other academic units at Arizona State University. All Barrett students complete a thesis or creative project, supervised and defended in front of a faculty committee. The thesis or creative project allows students to explore an intellectual interest and produce an original piece of scholarly research. The thesis or creative project is a student’s opportunity to explore areas of academic interest with greater intensity than is possible in a single course. It is also an opportunity to engage with professors, nationally recognized in their fields and specifically interested and committed to working with honors students. This work provides tangible evidence of a student’s research, writing and creative skills to graduate schools and/or prospective employers.