The impact of embryonic oxytocin receptor signaling on the transcriptome
Heather Caldwell, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Kent State University
My laboratory is interested in the contributions of the neuropeptide oxytocin to the sex-specific development of the mammalian brain. In this project, the impact of oxytocin receptor signaling on gene expression during early brain development will be evaluated. By using a knockout model for the oxytocin receptor, we will use RNA-sequencing to evaluate sex and genotypic differences in the transcriptome. Data will be analyzed using a bioinformatics pipeline and the findings confirmed using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. It is anticipated that this work will provide critical insights into the contributions of oxytocin receptor signaling to mammalian brain development. We hypothesize that oxytocin receptor signaling is important to the patterning of brain regions critical to the neural regulation of sex-specific behaviors.