Phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (Pnmt) is the enzyme in the catecholamine pathway responsible for converting norepinephrine to epinephrine. Pnmt is present in numerous areas; however, the scope of its expression in the mouse brain is not fully understood. A genetic mouse model was generated by the Ebert lab that exhibited the selective destruction of all Pnmt+ cells through the induction of apoptosis by Diphtheria Toxin A. Unexpected phenotypic defects arose that are characterized by metabolic weight deficits and motor ataxia. The distribution of Pnmt+ neurons was examined throughout the hypothalamus and cerebellum to generate an anatomical map of current and historical Pnmt expression using various histochemical methods. Historical Pnmt expression appears more extensive than current expression levels at the adult stage, indicating that certain cells in the mouse brain may have experienced transient Pnmt expression. The presence of Pnmt in these regions suggests that the destruction of these neurons may play a role in the phenotypic defects observed in the ablation mouse model. Gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the potential role of Pnmt in these areas may elucidate new drug targets or novel methods to treat obesity and motor control disorders such as ataxia.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Medicine
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
Orlando (Main) Campus
Length of Campus-only Access
Lindo, Lake A., "Anatomical and Functional Assessment of Pnmt+ Neurons in the Mouse Hypothalamus and Cerebellum: Potential Roles in Energy Metabolism and Motor Control" (2018). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 547.