This project will develop gene knockdown methods for a novel behavioral model system. Animals we study respond to social cues behaviorally and physiologically, changing phenotype as they ascend or descend in social status. Specifically, we can manipulate the social system to mimic the natural environment and have identified neurons that respond to social information. We have collected gene expression data from animals of distinct, socially regulated phenotypes producing candidate genes that putatively regulate social behavior. We will develop methods to silence gene expression to test which genes are responsible for particular aspects of behavioral change.

Public Health Relevance

We will develop targeted gene knockdown techniques in a novel model system to identify functional roles of genes whose expression levels change in response to social cues. We have identified transcripts produced by changes in socially controlled behavioral and physiological phenotypes and have correlational evidence that these gene transcript differences are regulated by microRNAs. The proposed pilot study will characterize gene- silencing dynamics in our behavioral model system to evaluate the perdurance and penentrance of gene knockdown techniques. This will allow us to test directly the roles of coding and non-coding RNAs in adult neuronal plasticity.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
1R03MH101373-01
Application #
8568559
Study Section
Molecular Neurogenetics Study Section (MNG)
Program Officer
Beckel-Mitchener, Andrea C
Project Start
2013-08-01
Project End
2015-07-31
Budget Start
2013-08-01
Budget End
2014-07-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$78,500
Indirect Cost
$28,500
Name
Stanford University
Department
Biology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
009214214
City
Stanford
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94305