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Health Sciences profile

Dr Rosie Brown

PositionResearch Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsPhD
Research summaryThe neuroendocrine control of maternal behaviour

Research

Dr Brown's research seeks to understand how a mother's brain adapts during pregnancy to facilitate a change in behaviour to allow her to care for her young.

Key to this behavioural adaptation is a change in hormone signalling in the brain during pregnancy and through into the postpartum period.

Research interests

  1. Investigating the mechanism of hormone transport into the brain. The blood brain barrier prevents large hormones diffusing from the blood into the brain, where they need to exert key biological actions. It is thought that hormones such as prolactin, leptin and insulin, require transporter proteins, but the nature of these transporters is unknown.
  2. The role of prolactin in the initiation of maternal behaviour. We are seeking to understand how a prolactin sensitive neural network is involved in a wide range of behavioural changes during pregnancy.
  3. How elevated levels of prolactin cause infertility.

Additional details

Major techniques used for this work involve tracking the movement of labelled hormones from the blood into the brain, monitoring levels of hormones in the blood, quantification of changes in neuronal activity by molecular biology techniques, mapping of neurons directly responsive to hormones and their neuronal pathways using immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation and the use of transgenic mouse and viral technology to study the role of hormones in the brain.

Publications

Brown, R. S. E., Aoki, M., Ladyman, S. R., Phillipps, H. R., Wyatt, A., Boehm, U., & Grattan, D. R. (2017). Prolactin action in the medial preoptic area is necessary for postpartum maternal nursing behavior. PNAS. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708025114

Ladyman, S. R., MacLeod, M. A., Khant Aung, Z., Knowles, P., Phillipps, H. R., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2017). Prolactin receptors in Rip-cre cells, but not in AgRP neurons, are involved in energy homeostasis. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12474

Brown, R. S. E., Kokay, I. C., Phillipps, H. R., Yip, S. H., Gustafson, P., Wyatt, A., Larsen, C. M., Knowles, P., Ladyman, S. R., LeTissier, P., & Grattan, D. R. (2016). Conditional deletion of the prolactin receptor reveals functional subpopulations of dopamine neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(35), 9173-9185. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.1471-16.2016

Brown, R. S. E., Wyatt, A. K., Herbison, R. E., Knowles, P. J., Ladyman, S. R., Binart, N., … Grattan, D. R. (2016). Prolactin transport into mouse brain is independent of prolactin receptor. FASEB Journal, 30(2), 1002-1010. doi: 10.1096/fj.15-276519

Brown, R. S. E., Herbison, A. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2015). Effects of prolactin and lactation on A15 dopamine neurons in the rostral preoptic area of female mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 27(9), 708-717. doi: 10.1111/jne.12297

Journal - Research Article

Ladyman, S. R., MacLeod, M. A., Khant Aung, Z., Knowles, P., Phillipps, H. R., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2017). Prolactin receptors in Rip-cre cells, but not in AgRP neurons, are involved in energy homeostasis. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12474

Brown, R. S. E., Aoki, M., Ladyman, S. R., Phillipps, H. R., Wyatt, A., Boehm, U., & Grattan, D. R. (2017). Prolactin action in the medial preoptic area is necessary for postpartum maternal nursing behavior. PNAS. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708025114

Brown, R. S. E., Wyatt, A. K., Herbison, R. E., Knowles, P. J., Ladyman, S. R., Binart, N., … Grattan, D. R. (2016). Prolactin transport into mouse brain is independent of prolactin receptor. FASEB Journal, 30(2), 1002-1010. doi: 10.1096/fj.15-276519

Brown, R. S. E., Kokay, I. C., Phillipps, H. R., Yip, S. H., Gustafson, P., Wyatt, A., Larsen, C. M., Knowles, P., Ladyman, S. R., LeTissier, P., & Grattan, D. R. (2016). Conditional deletion of the prolactin receptor reveals functional subpopulations of dopamine neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(35), 9173-9185. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.1471-16.2016

Brown, R. S. E., Herbison, A. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2015). Effects of prolactin and lactation on A15 dopamine neurons in the rostral preoptic area of female mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 27(9), 708-717. doi: 10.1111/jne.12297

Liu, X., Brown, R. S. E., Herbison, A. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2014). Lactational anovulation in mice results from a selective loss of kisspeptin input to GnRH neurons. Endocrinology, 155(1), 193-203. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1621

Brown, R. S. E., Herbison, A. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2014). Prolactin regulation of kisspeptin neurones in the mouse brain and its role in the lactation-induced suppression of kisspeptin expression. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 26(12), 898-908. doi: 10.1111/jne.12223

Brown, R. S. E., Piet, R., Herbison, A. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2012). Differential actions of prolactin on electrical activity and intracellular signal transduction in hypothalamic neurons. Endocrinology, 153(5), 2375-2384. doi: 10.1210/en.2011-2005

Brown, R. S. E., Herbison, A. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2011). Differential changes in responses of hypothalamic and brainstem neuronal populations to prolactin during lactation in the mouse. Biology of Reproduction, 84(4), 826-836. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.110.089185

Brown, R. S. E., Kokay, I. C., Herbison, A. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2010). Distribution of prolactin-responsive neurons in the mouse forebrain. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 518(1), 92-102. doi: 10.1002/cne.22208

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