Project Two: PACAP-CRF effects on anxiety circuits in mice

The goal of Project 2 is to understand how PACAP and CRF interact within the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the BNST to regulate anxiety-related behaviors.

Two neuropeptides, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), have been previously implicated in the regulation of anxiety in both humans and laboratory animals. The neurocircuitry of their effects is poorly understood. Both neuropeptides are expressed in brain structures involved in control of anxiety-related states—in the BLA and the BNST, specifically—and could contribute to the production of anxiety by directing information flow in BLA-BNST circuits that regulate anxiety-related behaviors. We will address this possibility by combining the use of optogenetic techniques with ex vivo and in vivo electrophysiology, mouse genetics, tract tracing with viral vectors, and behavioral testing.


Edward Meloni, PhD

Co-Investigator of Project Two

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Yan Li, PhD

Assistant Electrophysiologist

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