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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

Mary Hawkes_webMary Hawkes, Assistant Research Fellow
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

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, 114(40), 10779-10784. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708025114

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

Gustafson, P., Ladyman, S. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2019). Suppression of leptin transport into the brain contributes to leptin resistance during pregnancy in the mouse. Endocrinology, 160(4), 880-890. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-01065

Phillipps, H. R., Rand, C. J., Brown, R. S. E., Kokay, I. C., Stanton, J.-A., & Grattan, D. R. (2019). Prolactin regulation of insulin-like growth factor 2 gene expression in the adult mouse choroid plexus. FASEB Journal, 33, 6115-6128. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802262R

Chapter in Book - Research

Smiley, K. O., Ladyman, S. R., Gustafson, P., Grattan, D. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2019). Neuroendocrinology and adaptive physiology of maternal care. In Current topics in behavioral neurosciences. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/7854_2019_122

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Journal - Research Article

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

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

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

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

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

Brown, R. S. E., Khant Aung, Z., Phillipps, H. R., Barad, Z., Lein, H.-J., Boehm, U., Szawka, R. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2019). Acute suppression of LH secretion by prolactin in female mice is mediated by kisspeptin neurons in the arcuate nucleus. Endocrinology, 160(5), 1323-1332. doi: 10.1210/en.2019-00038

Gustafson, P., Ladyman, S. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2019). Suppression of leptin transport into the brain contributes to leptin resistance during pregnancy in the mouse. Endocrinology, 160(4), 880-890. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-01065

Phillipps, H. R., Rand, C. J., Brown, R. S. E., Kokay, I. C., Stanton, J.-A., & Grattan, D. R. (2019). Prolactin regulation of insulin-like growth factor 2 gene expression in the adult mouse choroid plexus. FASEB Journal, 33, 6115-6128. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802262R

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, 29(10), e12474. 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, 114(40), 10779-10784. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708025114

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

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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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Swart, J. M., Ladyman, S. R., Grattan, D. R., & Brown, R. S. E. (2020). Identifying a role for lactogenic hormones in maternal motivation. Journal of the Endocrine Society, 4(Suppl. 1), (pp. A1075). doi: 10.1210/jendso/bvaa046.2131

Barad, Z., Grattan, D., & Brown, R. (2019). Prolactin acts on glutamatergic neurons in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus to modulate maternal aggression. Journal of the Endocrine Society, 3(Suppl. 1), OR06-3. doi: 10.1210/js.2019-OR06-3

Smiley, K. O., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2018). Identifying prolactin-responsive neurons important for the transition to paternal care. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 48th Annual Meeting. 108.08. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org

Gustafson, P., Ladyman, S. R., Grattan, D., & Brown, R. S. E. (2018). Changing dynamics of prolactin and leptin transport into the brain during pregnancy and with aging. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN). (pp. 124). Retrieved from http://www.icn2018.org/

Brown, R. S. E. (2018). Prolactin signaling in the medial preoptic area is critical for maternal behavior. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN). (pp. 64). Retrieved from http://www.icn2018.org/

Smiley, K. O., Brown, R. S. E., & Grattan, D. R. (2018). Identifying prolactin-responsive neurons important for the transition to paternal care. Proceedings of the Society for Social Neuroscience 9th Annual Meeting. (pp. 33). Retrieved from https://www.s4sn.org

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