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Carbon Monoxide Neurotransmission in the Anterior Hypothalamus

Title: Carbon Monoxide Neurotransmission in the Anterior Hypothalamus: Cellular Mechanisms, Behavioral Effects, and Neuroendocrine Considerations.
Name(s): Robison, Christopher, author
Hull, Elaine M., professor directing dissertation
Hughes, Kimberly A., 1960-, university representative
Johnson, Andrew, committee member
Schatschneider, Christopher, committee member
Meredith, Michael, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (121 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The anterior third of the hypothalamus contains numerous nuclei involved in the regulation of reproductive, stress, circadian, and homeostatic behaviors. Due to the multifarious roles of this small area, neurotransmission is diverse and variegated between the discrete functional nuclei present there. The gaseous neurotransmitter, nitric oxide (NO) has already been shown to have an important regulatory role within the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of the anterior hypothalamus, where it serves to facilitate the expression of sex behaviors. However, little is known about the role of other gaseous neurotransmitters in this behavioral system. Here, I report that carbon monoxide (CO), an endogenously produced gas that also acts as a neurotransmitter, also has a functional behavioral role within this brain area in rats. The central administration of CO-facilitating molecules to the MPOA improves copulatory performance and reduces measures of anxiety, whereas CO-inhibiting molecules serve to impair copulatory performance and increase measures of anxiety. These effects are exerted through two cellular pathways: the cyclic GMP (cGMP) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) signaling systems. These pathways are somewhat distinct, with PGE2 inhibitors effectively blocking CO-induced anxiolysis but only impairing copulatory behavior during the first sexual experience, and cGMP inhibitors effectively impairing copulatory behavior during all experiences but facilitating rather than reducing anxiolysis. These dual mechanisms of CO signaling may stem in part from the disparate expression of the CO-producing enzymes HO-1, which is expressed transiently after the first sexual experience, and HO-2, which increases expression only with repeated experience, as quantified by immunofluorescence. Together, these results indicate that CO has a dual behavioral role within the anterior hypothalamus, exerting control over both reproductive and anxiety behaviors, and that its similarities and contrasts to NO may stem from the variable regulation of the two CO-producing enzymes.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-9238 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2014.
Date of Defense: November 14, 2014.
Keywords: Behavioral Neuroscience, Carbon Monoxide, Gasotransmission, Medial Preoptic Area, Neurotransmission, Sex Behavior
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Elaine Hull, Professor Directing Dissertation; Kimberly Hughes, University Representative; Frank Johnson, Committee Member; Christopher Schatschneider, Committee Member; Michael Meredith, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Neurosciences
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Robison, C. (2014). Carbon Monoxide Neurotransmission in the Anterior Hypothalamus: Cellular Mechanisms, Behavioral Effects, and Neuroendocrine Considerations. Retrieved from