Zachary Wright


Dr. Jannon Fuchs
Research Topic: 
Somatostatin Receptors on Neuronal Primary Cilia: Evidence for Neuroprotection
Primary cilia are essential in brain ontogeny, mainly because their presence on neural stem cells is required for mitogenic signaling; however, the functions of cilia in mature post-mitotic neurons remains unknown. Somatostatin type-3 receptors (SstR3) are almost exclusively concentrated in primary neuronal cilia. In mice, SstR3 immunoreactivity was evident in cilia of mature neurons but not in neural progenitors. Given the inhibitory effects of somatostatin, we hypothesized that ciliary SstR3 protects neurons against traumatic stress. We compared seizure-related behaviors in SstR3 knockout versus wild-type mice in response to administration of kainic acid or vehicle. Animals were monitored and seizure behaviors were rated based on Racine’s (1972) seizure severity scale. Seizures were more severe in mutants than in wild-types. In the KA injected groups, GFAP staining showed more astrocyte processes in mutant compared to wild-type mice. These observations support the hypothesis that ciliary SstR3 is neuroprotective.
Alma Mater: 
B.S. Biochemistry | University of North Texas 2014