Purdue University Graduate School
Assessing neuronal ciliary localization of Melanin Concentrating Hormone Receptor 1 in vivo finalversion2TKK.pdf (5.29 MB)

Assessing neuronal ciliary localization of Melanin Concentrating Hormone Receptor 1 in vivo

Download (5.29 MB)
posted on 2021-07-22, 17:19 authored by Tisianna Kembia KambaTisianna Kembia Kamba
Obesity is a growing pandemic that claims close to three hundred thousand lives per year in the United States alone. Despite strong interest and investment in potential treatments, obesity remains a complex and challenging disorder. In the study of obesity, mouse models have been excellent tools that help in understanding the function of different genes that contribute to this disease of energy homeostasis. However, it was surprising when disfunction in primary cilia was found to be linked to syndromic obesity. To understand the role of primary cilia in obesity, a growing subset of GPCRs have been identified to selectively localize to the organelle. Several of which have known roles in energy homeostasis. In some examples, ciliary GPCRs appear to dynamically localize to the organelle; such is the case of GPR161 and smoothened in the hedgehog signaling pathway. Thus, we were interested to see if other GPCRs dynamically localize to the primary cilia as part of their regulation of energy homeostasis. For example, the GPCR MCHR1 selectively localizes to the cilia and is involved in energy homeostasis. Although much is known about the expression of the receptor in the brain, how its ciliary subcellular localization impacts its roles in energy homeostasis is unknown. Observing neuronal cilia in vivo remains a difficult task as some of the available tools such as tagged alleles rely on overexpression of ciliary proteins which may impact function. Additionally, most of the work is done in vitro, leaving much to be discovered about neuronal cilia in vivo. In this thesis, we show that using a newly constructed reporter allele mCherryMCHR1, we can see ciliary expression of MCHR1 in the brain of developing and adult mice; more specifically in the ARC and PVN. Subsequently, using a novel Artificial intelligence analysis approach, we measured the length and composition of MCHR1 positive cilia under physiological conditions associated with MCHR1 function. Although in this work we are reporting no changes in dynamic localization of MCHR1 in the hypothalamus specifically, we are not excluding the potential for changes in other regions of the brain or under other conditions; and we are suggesting that pharmacological approaches may help highlight potential ciliary GPCR dynamic localization


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Biological Sciences

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Nicolas F. Berbari

Additional Committee Member 2

Teresa Mastracci

Additional Committee Member 3

Guoli Dai

Usage metrics



    Ref. manager