Self-injurious behaviors are a maladaptive set of behaviors exhibited by a diverse population, and are characterized by self-directed mutilation or harm, such as cutting, burning, head banging, and scab picking, among others. This thesis aims to explore two prevailing hypotheses proposing disruptions in the HPA axis and endogenous opioid system in individuals with SIB by using qRT-PCR. Many studies have been conducted with results supporting both hypotheses, but are limited to behavioral analysis and measurements of opioids and HPA axis ligands from urine, plasma, or CSF. None of these studies directly explore the specific brain regions of individuals exhibiting SIB. Here, we show altered expression of the glucocorticoid receptor, Nr3c1, in the amygdala of males with SIB and a downregulation of mineralocorticoid receptor, Nr3c2, in the amygdala of females with SIB. Furthermore, upregulations of Nr3c2 and downregulation of the Nr3c1 are seen in the hippocampus of females with SIB. Because of the roles of the amygdala in activating the HPA axis and the hippocampus in suppressing the HPA axis, the aforementioned gene expression disruptions likely translate to an inability to efficiently regulate the HPA axis. In the endogenous opioid system, expression of both prodynorphin, Pdyn, and opioid receptor mu 1, Oprm1, are disregulated in both males and females with SIB, but in a dynamic way. These alterations in opioid transcripts may imply impairments in the reward experience, leading to aberrant behaviors such as SIB to experience reward. Our results support both hypotheses, that disruptions in expression are present in genes involved in the HPA axis and endogenous opioid signaling, and also show a sex-biased difference in expression in both males and females with SIB. The results also elucidate a complexity to the neurobiology of SIB that requires further research.
|Advisor:||Smith, Karen M.|
|Commitee:||Kulkarni, Ritwij, Leberg, Paul|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Opioids, Primates, SIB, Stress|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be