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Bunn Laboratory

Research interests

Our major research interest at the Centre for Neuroendocrinology is in the neuroendocrinology of stress.

Current research focuses on two major areas. First, understanding the complex regulation of the adrenal medullary chromaffin cell, specifically how it regulates its secretory output of catecholamines and peptides in response to multiple stress-activated inputs. Much recent work has been directed at understanding how cytokines interact with this stress response.

Our second major interest concerns the role of another cytokine, prolactin, on the stress axis. Specifically we are interested in how stressors alter prolactin secretion from the pituitary and what role this prolactin then plays in stress adaptation under different physiological states.

  • Neuroendocrinology of stress
  • Cell biology of the adrenal medulla
  • Prolactin and the stress axis

Clinical conditions

Impaired or inappropriate adaptation to stress contributes to many major disease states.

Associate Professor Bunn's researcher profile

List of publications for Stephen Bunn (Google Scholar)

Bunn Laboratory staff & students

Paul Cromb_webPaul Cromb, PhD student
In situ detection of enkephalin release

Pani Panagiotis_webPanagiotis Papaioannou, PhD student
Ca2+-signalling in TIDA neurons

Joe Yip_webJoe Yip, Research Fellow
Remodelling of hypothalamic neurons during pregnancy and lactation

Yeri Rim_webYeri Rim, Assistant Research Fellow

Shahd Al-Isawi, Masters student
Prolactin actions on the adrenal cortex

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


Aye, W., Georgescu, T., & Bunn, S. (2021). Ca2+-imaging in rat adrenal slices reveal chromaffin cell heterogeneity. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1537), (pp. 105-106). Retrieved from

Nair, B. B., Khant Aung, Z., Porteous, R., Prescott, M., Glendining, K. A., Jenkins, D. E., Augustine, R. A., … Yip, S. H., Bouwer, G. T., Brown, C. H., Jasoni, C. L., Campbell, R. E., Bunn, S. J., Anderson, G. M., Grattan, D. R., Herbison, A. E., & Iremonger, K. J. (2021). Impact of chronic variable stress on neuroendocrine hypothalamus and pituitary in male and female C57BL/6J mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12972

Gustafson, P., Ladyman, S. R., McFadden, S., Larsen, C., Khant Aung, Z., Brown, R. S. E., Bunn, S. J., & Grattan, D. R. (2020). Prolactin receptor-mediated activation of pSTAT5 in the pregnant mouse brain. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 32, e12901. doi: 10.1111/jne.12901

Yip, S. H., Araujo-Lopes, R., Szawka, R. E., York, J., Hyland, B., Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2020). Morphological plasticity of the tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic neurons in the rat during the estrous cycle and lactation. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 32(11), e12884. doi: 10.1111/jne.12884

Yip, S. H., Romano, N., Hodson, D. J., Williams, E., Gustafson, P., Kokay, I., … Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2019, September). Elevated prolactin during pregnancy drives a phenotypic switch in mouse hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.