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Multi-week behavior, histology and neurochemistry sequence for undergraduate neuroscience laboratory



Multi-week behavior, histology and neurochemistry sequence for undergraduate neuroscience laboratory



Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 26(1-2): Abstract No -21 50



Multi-week behavior, histology and neurochemistry sequence for an undergraduate neuroscience laboratory. J.M. Gray, Department of Psychology, Vassar College We have designed a 7-week laboratory project for our undergraduate behavioral neuroscience course that explores the effects of gonadal hormone manipulation on various behaviors as well as NPY-immunoreactivity. The project outline is as follows: Week I: Observations were made of a number of behaviors including open field activity, exploratory behaviors, and a variety of simple social interactions with another female rat. Week II: Each student ovariectomized one rat. With 12 rats, there were enough to randomly split into two groups of six rats each. Week III: Rats were injected with either 5 ug estradiol benzoate followed 30 hours later by 2 mg progesterone, or with two injections of oil vehicle. Four hours following the final injections, behavioral observations were repeated with pairs of students observing one oil-injected and one hormone-injected rat. Week IV: We repeated the injection program described above and, four hours after the final injection, killed and perfused the rats. Over the following several days, brains were fixed in paraformaldehyde and then left in cryoprotectant. Week V: Students made frozen sections through the preoptic and hypothalamic regions of their rats' brains, saving half of the slices for later ICC and immediately staining the remaining slices with a cresyl violet stain for identification of neuroanatomical landmarks. Week VI: Students determined levels of NPY-immunoreactivity. Week VII: Students coverslipped slides and carefully examined and compared sections stained for NPY and Nissl bodies.

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