The Haskell-Luevano lab uses a variety of neuroscience techniques in order to examine neurotropic changes in the brain.
C-Fos immunoreactivity is an ex vivo model that is used simply to look at the quantity of neuronal activity/activation in specific brain areas. The idea is that an active neuron will produce more c-Fos that will then give off more light when examined under a microscope. In previous feeding studies, we have examined brain areas such as the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, area postrema (AP) and nucleus of the tractus solitaries (NTS). 1,2
Quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR)
qRT-PCR is used to detect changes in mRNA levels is various tissues. Our lab uses this technique to investigate how Melanocortin agonists and antagonists influence mRNA levels in the hypothalamus, liver and of mice. 3
Milleplex/Magpix- Hormone profiling
The Haskell-Luevano lab uses the Milliplex Apidokine Magnetic Bead assay to measure hormone levels in plasma samples. Some hormones of interest are leptin and insulin. Hormone levels are measure on a Magpix (by Luminex) instrument. This allows us to examine how Melanocortin agonists and antagonists influences neuroendrocrine levels in mice. 4,5,6
Rowland, N. E., Schaub, J. W., Robertson, K. L., Andreasen, A., & Haskell-Luevano, C. (2010). Effect of MTII on food intake and brain c-Fos in melanocortin-3, melanocortin-4, and double MC3 and MC4 receptor knockout mice. Peptides, 31(12), 2314-2317.
Haskell-Luevano, C., Schaub, J. W., Andreasen, A., Haskell, K. R., Moore, M. C., Koerper, L. M., . . . Xiang, Z. (2009). Voluntary exercise prevents the obese and diabetic metabolic syndrome of the melanocortin-4 receptor knockout mouse. FASEB J, 23(2), 642-655.
Haskell-Luevano, C., Schaub, J. W., Andreasen, A., Haskell, K. R., Moore, M. C., Koerper, L. M., . . . Xiang, Z. (2009). Voluntary exercise prevents the obese and diabetic metabolic syndrome of the melanocortin-4 receptor knockout mouse. FASEB J, 23(2), 642-655. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-109686
Melanocortins: Multiple Actions and Therapeutic Potential. (2010). Melanocortins: Multiple Actions and Therapeutic Potential, 681, 55.