UC San Diego
Neuropeptide Modulators of the C. elegans locomotor circuit
- Author(s): Zhou, Kingston
- Advisor(s): Jin, Yishi
- et al.
Neuropeptides are small peptides secreted from neurons that modulate the activity of the nervous system. Aberrant neuropeptide signaling, then, can be detrimental to the behaviors they modulate. Studying neuropeptides can characterize how neural circuits are regulated to maintain optimal activity. I utilized a genetic model of epilepsy in C. elegans to identify neuropeptide modulators of the locomotor circuit. Based on a list of genes that were previously found to be up-regulated in this model, I generated compound mutants. Using compound and confocal microscopy, I found that one up-regulated neuropeptide was ectopically expressed due to circuit hyperactivity. Following genetic and pharmacological analyses, I identified four neuropeptides that promote hyperactivity in the locomotor circuit.