The long-Term Effect of Juvenile Stressor Exposure and Access to Palatable Food: Alterations in Dopamine and Ghrelin Signalling

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Creator: 

Ali, Eliza Fatima

Date: 

2015

Abstract: 

Juvenile stressor exposure induces anxiety-like characteristics in adulthood and it is thought that palatable food can dampen HPA-activity, in part, through the mesolimbic pathway. Ghrelin, an orexigenic peptide, is involved in stress-induced preference for palatable food by modulating dopamine activity in the reward pathway. We hypothesize that the combination of juvenile stress and palatable food sensitizes the reward pathway, which will be manifested by altered dopamine signalling and enhanced sensitivity to ghrelin in adulthood. Findings revealed that palatable food ameliorated the anxiogenic effects of juvenile stress in adulthood however at the cost of increased adiposity. Also, a lack of association between the upregulation of dopamine receptor mRNA expression occurring at nucleus accumbens to rewarding stimuli (cookie dough and cocaine) in previously stressed rats fed the palatable food was observed. Juvenile stressor exposure enhanced ghrelin signalling for hedonic food whereas access to palatable food, regardless of stressor exposure, blunted ghrelin sensitivity.

Subject: 

Neuroscience

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Science: 
M.Sc.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Neuroscience

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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