The Sci-Files – 11/29/2020 – Lexi Singstock – How Mast Cells May Help Regulate Emotions in Mice

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

Lexi Singstock
Lexi Singstock

On this week’s The Sci-Files, your hosts Chelsie and Danny interview Lexi Singstock. One of the Robison Lab’s primary focuses is on how mice react to certain behavioral scenarios and how this affects their brain chemistry and behaviors. Lexi’s research coincides with this by specifically looking at mast cells and if they play a role in controlling mice’s behavior. Mast cells are specific immune cells that are distributed throughout the body and act to regulate the immune system that can also interact with glial cells and neurons within the brain. Because of this, it was hypothesized if mast cells have any role in modulating behavior as well as the immune system. The data is promising, however, this is preliminary and further testing with more mice needs to be performed to solidify the initial findings. If this data is correct, then it may be possible to control behaviors such as anxiety and motivation in mice with mast cell manipulation.
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