Laura Elena Villasana

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Previous postsynaptic density (PSD) isolation methodologies have utilized either whole brain or discrete brain regions of relatively large mammals such as dogs and rats. The present report details a simple and highly effective procedure for the rapid isolation of PSDs from small amounts of adult mouse hippocampus that has several advantages. First, by(More)
The effects of ionizing irradiation on the brain are associated with oxidative stress. While oxidative stress following irradiation is generally viewed as detrimental for hippocampal function, it might have beneficial effects as part of an adaptive or preconditioning response to a subsequent challenge. Here we show that in contrast to what is seen in(More)
Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) modulate glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. mGluR8 is generally located presynaptically where it regulates neurotransmitter release. Previously we reported that 6-month-old mGluR8(-/-) male mice show higher measures of anxiety in anxiety tests involving avoidable anxiety-provoking stimuli than(More)
Superoxide has been shown to be critical for hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and hippocampus-dependent memory function. A possible source for the generation of superoxide during these processes is NADPH oxidase. The active oxidase consists of two membrane proteins, gp91phox and p22phox, and four cytosolic proteins, p40phox, p47phox, p67phox, and(More)
Neuronal development requires several discrete morphological steps that are believed to involve the small GTPase Rac. For example, neural activity, through NMDA receptors and/or AMPA receptors, activates Rac leading to elaboration of dendritic arbors. In the current study, we have conducted studies which indicate that Rac might be an important molecule(More)
Clinical irradiation of the brain induces hippocampus-dependent cognitive impairments in some but not all individuals, suggesting the involvement of genetic risk factors. Deficiency of apolipoprotein E (APOE), which is important for the metabolism and redistribution of lipoproteins and cholesterol, increases behavioral impairments after irradiation,(More)
In the mammalian hippocampus, neurogenesis persists into adulthood, and increased generation of newborn neurons could be of clinical benefit following concussive head injuries. Post-traumatic neurogenesis has been well documented using "open" traumatic brain injury (TBI) models in rodents; however, human TBI most commonly involves closed head injury. Here(More)
Effects of irradiation on hippocampal function have been mostly studied in male rodents and relatively little is known about potential effects of irradiation on hippocampal function in female rodents. Moreover, although the long-term effects of clinical radiation on cognitive function have been well established, the effects of other forms of irradiation,(More)
Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) modulate glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. mGluR8, a member of group III receptors, is generally located presynaptically where it regulates neurotransmitter release. Previously we reported higher measures of anxiety in 6- and 12-month-old mGluR8(-/-) male mice than age- and sex-matched wild-type mice(More)
Ionizing radiation reduces the numbers of neurons expressing activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). It is currently unclear if that change relates to cognitive function. We assessed the effects of 1 Gy of head-only ⁵⁶Fe-particle irradiation on hippocampus-dependent and hippocampus-independent fear(More)