Author ORCID Identifier

0000-0003-4790-7251

Defense Date

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biochemistry

First Advisor

Dr. Carmen Sato-Bigbee

Abstract

Our previous results showed that oligodendrocyte development is regulated by both nociceptin and its G-protein coupled receptor, the nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor (NOPR). The present in vitro and in vivo findings show that nociceptin plays a crucial conserved role in both human and rodent brain astrocytes, regulating the levels of the glutamate/aspartate transporter GLAST/EAAT1. This nociceptin-mediated response takes place during a critical developmental window that coincides with astrocyte maturation and synapse formation. GLAST/EAAT1 upregulation by nociceptin is mediated by NOPR and the downstream participation of a complex signaling cascade that involves the interaction of several kinase systems, including PI-3K/AKT, mTOR and JAK. Because GLAST is the main glutamate transporter during brain maturation, these novel findings suggest that nociceptin plays a crucial role in regulating the function of early astrocytes and their capacity to support glutamate homeostasis in the developing brain.

Rights

© Logan Claire Meyer

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

6-21-2017

Available for download on Monday, June 20, 2022

Included in

Biochemistry Commons

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