Effect of Dopamine, Levodopa and Serotonin treatments on the proliferation and neurogenesis of adult hippocampal progenitor cells within a microfluidic device

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2022-12
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Garbe, Anna
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Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology seeks to teach subcellular and cellular processes, genome dynamics, cell structure and function, and molecular mechanisms of development, in so doing offering a Major in Biology and a Major in Genetics.

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The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology was founded in 2005.

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Neurotransmitters provide an important role in chemical communication between differentiated neurons and target cells and potentially contribute to neurogenesis. The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) and its precursor levodopa (L-DOPA) are prevalent throughout the brain and can modulate synaptic plasticity. Additionally, serotonin (5-HT) is involved in hippocampal neurotransmission. In this study, we evaluated how DA, L-DOPA, and 5-HT treatments affect the proliferation and neurogenesis of multipotent adult rat hippocampal progenitor cell (AHPC) neurospheres. We developed a microfluidic chip composed of two chambers separated by intentionally misaligned micropillars that mimic the blood-brain barrier. The chip design allows the diffusion of neurotransmitters from the source chamber to the adjacent chamber containing neurospheres. Cell viability, proliferation, and neuronal differentiation were evaluated on the AHPC neurospheres after exposure to DA, L-DOPA, or 5-HT. Following immunocytochemistry, fluorescent images were captured and analyzed to determine the immunoreactive cell percentage. After DA, L-DOPA, and 5-HT treatments, no negative effects on viability were noted. AHPCs showed a statistically significant increase in proliferation and neuronal differentiation following DA treatment compared to L-DOPA treatment. 5-HT treatment also showed a statistically significant increase in neurogenesis at higher concentrations. These results begin to provide insight into the role of neurotransmitters in regulating AHPC neurogenesis.
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