Journal of Undergraduate Research


GPR18, GPR119, learning and memory, Dementia, Alzheimer's disease


Life Sciences


Physiology and Developmental Biology


Many mental disorders plague our society. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have greatly impacted many victims and their families. Despite the seriousness and pervasiveness of Alzheimer’s, there is still no effective treatment for it nor the accompanying dementia. GPR18 and GPR119 are G-protein coupled receptors (GPRs) and have been identified in the central nervous system, but their functional role is unknown. Many successful drugs target GPR proteins, so examining these GPRs’ function in the brain could lead to potential targets leading to innovative medical advances.

Memory is dependent on a molecular process called synaptic plasticity. In synaptic plasticity, the strength of and sensitivity to neuronal signals are altered through long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Based on previous research, we hypothesize that GPR18 and GPR119 are excellent candidates for a role in learning as they show similarities to previously studied receptors shown to regulate synaptic plasticity in the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus.

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