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MSc Exit Seminar – Christine Lum (McGowan lab)

November 11, 2015 @ 1:10 pm - 1:40 pm

MSc Exit Seminar

Wednesday November 11th, 1:10 pm – Room SW 403, University of Toronto at Scarborough

Christine Lum (McGowan lab) 

Maternal High Fat Diet Alters the Transcriptional Response to Glucocorticoid and Immune Challenge in the Amygdala and Hippocampus of Adult Rat Offspring”


Maternal overnutrition during pre- and post-(peri)natal periods of development has previously been suggested to increase offspring risk for developing psychiatric disorders. The mental impacts are often accompanied by altered expressions of glucocorticoid receptors (GR), which regulate the inflammatory response to stress. In this study, rats were acutely injected with corticosterone (CORT) and/or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in adulthood after perinatal exposure to maternal high-fat diet (HFD) to examine its effects on responding to stress. Gene transcript analyses in the amygdala and hippocampus revealed higher immunosuppressive activity and altered abundance of genes associated with anxiety- and depressive-like behavior over rats perinatally exposed to standard diets. These effects were sex and brain region-specific, and appeared to be dependent on levels of GR. Epigenetic analyses suggest impairments in the DNA methylation machinery to be the cause of these diet differences. Hence, perinatal HFD incurs differential immune responses to stress in the rat brain.


November 11, 2015
1:10 pm - 1:40 pm
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