Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Biological Science

Advisor/Committee Chair

Annalisa Scimemi

Committee Member

Pauline Carrico


The circadian rhythm affects behavior and physiology in many animal species. Our previous work in mice showed that within the hippocampus, a subordinate circadian oscillator, astrocytes change their proximity to excitatory synapses. Here we obtain 3D reconstructions of biocytin-filled hippocampal astrocytes processed with protein retention expansion microscopy and imaged using two-photon laser scanning microscopy. Our findings identify the subtle changes in astrocyte morphologies that encode information about time-of-day in hippocampal astrocytes. These findings shed light on fundamental mechanisms that allow the function of hippocampal circuits to adapt to different times of the day. This will help us understand how structural changes in astrocytes affect inhibition as we also consider the effects of circadian rhythms on GABAergic inhibition. Our experiments on GABAergic inhibition show changes in tonic inhibition due to circadian rhythms. Furthermore, we explore changes in dendritic spines in response to Aβ42-AAV injections and the functional implications of Aβ42-AAV at glutamatergic synapses.

Available for download on Thursday, December 01, 2022

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Biology Commons