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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

Joe Yip_webJoe Yip, Postdoctoral Fellow
Remodelling of hypothalamic neurons during pregnancy and lactation
Email joe.yip@otago.ac.nz

Will Aye, Masters student
Heterogenous stress responses of adrenal medullary chromaffin cells

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

Publications

Kirk, S. E., Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2019). The median eminence detects and responds to circulating prolactin in the male mouse. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12733

Yip, S. H., Romanò, N., Gustafson, P., Hodson, D. J., Williams, E. J., Kokay, I. C., … Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2019). Elevated prolactin during pregnancy drives a phenotypic switch in mouse hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons. Cell Reports, 26(7), 1787-1799.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.01.067

Yip, S. H., York, J., Hyland, B., Bunn, S. J., & Grattan, D. R. (2018). Incomplete concordance of dopamine transporter Cre (DATIREScre)-mediated recombination and tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the mouse forebrain. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 90, 40-48. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2017.12.002

Bunn, S., Yip, S. H., Grattan, D., Hyland, B., Szawka, R., Araujo-Lopes, R., & York, J. (2018). Morphological plasticity of hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons during estrous cycle and lactation. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN). (pp. 123-124). Retrieved from http://www.icn2018.org/

Kirk, S. E., Xie, T. Y., Steyn, F. J., Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2017). Restraint stress increases prolactin-mediated phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 in the hypothalamus and adrenal cortex in the male mouse. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 29(6), 1-9. doi: 10.1111/jne.12477

Edited Book - Research

Powis, D. A., & Bunn, S. J. (Eds.). (1995). Neurotransmitter Release and its Modulation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 10p.

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Journal - Research Article

Kirk, S. E., Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2019). The median eminence detects and responds to circulating prolactin in the male mouse. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12733

Yip, S. H., Romanò, N., Gustafson, P., Hodson, D. J., Williams, E. J., Kokay, I. C., … Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2019). Elevated prolactin during pregnancy drives a phenotypic switch in mouse hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons. Cell Reports, 26(7), 1787-1799.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.01.067

Yip, S. H., York, J., Hyland, B., Bunn, S. J., & Grattan, D. R. (2018). Incomplete concordance of dopamine transporter Cre (DATIREScre)-mediated recombination and tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the mouse forebrain. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 90, 40-48. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2017.12.002

Kirk, S. E., Xie, T. Y., Steyn, F. J., Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2017). Restraint stress increases prolactin-mediated phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 in the hypothalamus and adrenal cortex in the male mouse. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 29(6), 1-9. doi: 10.1111/jne.12477

Gustafson, P., Bunn, S. J., & Grattan, D. R. (2017). The role of prolactin in the suppression of Crh mRNA expression during pregnancy and lactation in the mouse. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 29(9), e12511. doi: 10.1111/jne.12511

Gustafson, P., Kokay, I., Sapsford, T., Bunn, S., & Grattan, D. (2017). Prolactin regulation of the HPA axis is not mediated by a direct action upon CRH neurons: Evidence from the rat and mouse. Brain Structure & Function, 222(7), 3191-3204. doi: 10.1007/s00429-017-1395-1

Jenkins, D. E., Sreenivasan, D., Carman, F., Babru, S., Eiden, L. E., & Bunn, S. J. (2016). Interleukin-6-mediated signaling in adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. Journal of Neurochemistry, 139(6), 1138-1150. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13870

Romanò, N., Yip, S. H., Hodson, D. J., Guillou, A., Parnaudeau, S., Kirk, S., … Bunn, S. J., Grattan, D. R., … Martin, A. O. (2013). Plasticity of hypothalamic dopamine neurons during lactation results in dissociation of electrical activity and release. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(10), 4424-4433. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.4415-12.2013

Samal, B., Ait-Ali, D., Bunn, S., Mustafa, T., & Eiden, L. E. (2013). Discrete signal transduction pathway utilization by a neuropeptide (PACAP) and a cytokine (TNF-alpha) first messenger in chromaffin cells, inferred from coupled transcriptome-promoter analysis of regulated gene cohorts. Peptides, 45, 48-60. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2013.03.020

Bunn, S. J., Ait-Ali, D., & Eiden, L. E. (2012). Immune-neuroendocrine integration at the adrenal gland: Cytokine control of the adrenomedullary transcriptome. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, 48(2), 413-419. doi: 10.1007/s12031-012-9745-1

Yip, S. H., Eguchi, R., Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2012). Prolactin signalling in the mouse hypothalamus is primarily mediated by signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 5b but not 5a. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 24(12), 1484-1491. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2012.02357.x

Knowles, P. J., Douglas, S. A., & Bunn, S. J. (2011). Nicotinic stimulation of catecholamine synthesis and tyrosine hydroxylase phosphorylation in cervine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 23(3), 224-231. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2010.02100.x

Douglas, S. A., Sreenivasan, D., Carman, F. H., & Bunn, S. J. (2010). Cytokine interactions with adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. Cellular & Molecular Neurobiology, 30(8), 1467-1475. doi: 10.1007/s10571-010-9593-x

Douglas, S. A., & Bunn, S. J. (2009). Interferon-α signalling in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells: Involvement of signal-transducer and activator of transcription 1 and 2, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1/2 and serine 31 phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 21(3), 200-207. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2009.01821.x

Douglas, S. A., Stevenson, K. E., Knowles, P. J., & Bunn, S. J. (2008). Characterization of catecholamine release from deer adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. Neuroscience Letters, 445(1), 126-129. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.08.060

Grattan, D. R., Steyn, F. J., Kokay, I. C., Anderson, G. M., & Bunn, S. J. (2008). Pregnancy-induced adaptation in the neuroendocrine control of prolactin secretion. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 20(4), 497-507. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2008.01661.x

Anderson, G. M., Beijer, P., Bang, A. S., Fenwick, M. A., Bunn, S. J., & Grattan, D. R. (2006). Suppression of prolactin-induced signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b signaling and induction of suppressors of cytokine signaling messenger ribonucleic acid in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus of the rat during late pregnancy and lactation. Endocrinology, 147(10), 4996-5005.

O'Sullivan, K. M., & Bunn, S. J. (2006). Phospholipase C isozymes are differentially distributed in the rat adrenal medulla. Neuroscience Letters, 396, 212-216. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2005.11.033

Ma, F. Y., Grattan, D. R., Goffin, V., & Bunn, S. J. (2005). Prolacting-regulated tyrosine hydroxylase activity and messenger ribonucleic acid expression in mediobasal hypothalamic cultures: The differential role of specific protein kinases. Endocrinology, 146(1), 93-102.

Ma, F. Y., Anderson, G. M., Gunn, T. D., Goffin, V., Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2005). Prolactin specifically activates signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b in neuroendocrine dopaminergic neurons. Endocrinology, 146(12), 5112-5119.

Ma, F. Y., Grattan, D. R., Bobrovskaya, L., Dunkley, P. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2004). Angiotensin II regulates tyrosine hydroxylase activity and mRNA expression in rat mediobasal hypothalamic cultures: The role of specific protein kinases. Journal of Neurochemistry.

Tompkins, M., Gai, W. P., Douglas, S., & Bunn, S. J. (2003). α-Synuclein expression localizes to the Golgi apparatus in bovine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. Brain Research, 984, 233-236.

O'Connell, G., Douglas, S., & Bunn, S. J. (2003). The involvement of specific phospholipase C isozymes in catecholamine release from digitonin permeabilized bovine adrenal medullary chromaffin cells. Neuroscience Letters, 342, 1-4.

Grattan, D. R., Xu, J., McLachlan, M. J., Kokay, I. C., Bunn, S. J., Hovey, R. C., & Davey, H. W. (2001). Feedback regulation of PRL secretion is mediated by the transcription factor, signal transducer, and activator of transcription 5b. Endocrinology, 142(9), 3935-3940.

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