Homocysteic Acid and Homocysteine Toxicity as a Model for Schizophrenia
Dr. Christopher Barney, Hope College
Dr. Leah Chase, Hope College
Schizophreniais a disorder that tends to strike in late adolescence and is characterized by disorganized thought, impaired memory and hallucinations. The project examined behavioral changes resulting from the introduction of homocysteic acid (HCA) and homocysteine (HC) into rats. The drugs work by inducing hypoNMDA receptor function. The objective was to determine if an animal model for the schizophrenia phenotype could be created by ablating GABA ergicinterneurons via intraperitoneal injection of homocysteic acid. Additionally, since several previous studies observed a strong correlation between elevated homocysteine levels and the development of schizophrenia, it was assessed whether hyperhomocysteinemia also leads to development of schizophrenia - like symptoms. After injections, research consisted of a series of tests used to evaluate levels of dopamine dysregulation. Our preliminary analysis suggests that increased levels of HC and/or HCA may contribute to some features of the schizophrenia phenotype.
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