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Rosie Brown Laboratory

Research interests

I am interested in how the changing hormones of pregnancy and lactation act on neural circuitry in the maternal brain to influence behaviour. In particular, I focus on maternal behaviour, a complex set of behaviours displayed by a mother that promote the survival and wellbeing of her offspring. Our work aims to understand how hormones normally act to direct a mother’s behaviour and how these processes may become disrupted.
At the Centre for Neuroendocrinology, I use transgenic mouse models to address the impact of specific neuroendocrine disruptions on maternal behaviour using behavioural assays. We investigate hormonal actions on neural circuitry underlying parental behaviour using a range of molecular, immunohistochemical and imaging approaches.
I am also interested in how changes in the ability of hormones to access the brain in different physiological or pathological states might underlie changes in hormone function.

Clinical conditions

  • Postpartum depression
  • Postpartum anxiety
  • Maternal obesity

Rosie Brown Laboratory staff & students

Jenny Clarkson_webJenny Clarkson, Research Fellow
Neural circuits required for maternal adaptation to pregnancy
Email jenny.clarkson@otago.ac.nz

Mary Hawkes_webMary Hawkes, PhD student
Hormonal modulation of the medial preoptic area in the maternal brain
Email mary.hawkes@otago.ac.nz

Zin Khant Aung_webZin Khant-Aung, Assistant Research Fellow
Hormonal modulation of maternal aggression (protective behaviour)
Email zin.khantaung@otago.ac.nz

Judith Swart_webJudith Swart, PhD student
Involvement of the reward circuitry in prolactin’s regulation of maternal behaviour
Email swaju179@student.otago.ac.nz


Visit Our people for an alphabetical list of all Centre for Neuroendocrinology staff.

Publications

Georgescu, T., Ladyman, S. R., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2020). Acute effects of prolactin on hypothalamic prolactin receptor expressing neurones in the mouse. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 32, e12908. doi: 10.1111/jne.12908

Gustafson, P., Ladyman, S. R., McFadden, S., Larsen, C., Khant Aung, Z., Brown, R. S. E., Bunn, S., & Grattan, D. R. (2020). Prolactin receptor-mediated activation of pSTAT5 in the pregnant mouse brain. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12901

Stagkourakis, S., Smiley, K. O., Williams, P., Kakadellis, S., Ziegler, K., Bakker, J., Brown, R. S. E., … Grattan, D. R., & Broberger, C. (2020). A neuro-hormonal circuit for paternal behavior controlled by a hypothalamic network oscillation. Cell, 182, 960-975. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.07.007

Barad, Z., Khant Aung, Z., Grattan, D. R., Ladyman, S. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2020). Impaired prolactin transport into the brain and functional responses to prolactin in aged male mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 32, e12889. doi: 10.1111/jne.12889

Ladyman, S. R., Hackwell, E. C. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2020). The role of prolactin in co-ordinating fertility and metabolic adaptations during reproduction. Neuropharmacology, 167, 107911. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.107911