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Research interests

The hypothalamus is an area of the brain that contains neural circuits that are essential for survival. We are specifically interested in one part of the hypothalamus called the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Neurons in the PVN are activated in response to many different types of stress and in turn release neuropeptides both within the brain and into the circulation to control the body’s stress response.

We use electrophysiology, imaging, optogenetics and other techniques to understand how neural circuits within the PVN function. We are specifically interested in determining how stress responsive neurons in the PVN process information and adapt across different physiological and behavioral states.

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Research topics

  • Control of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neuron excitability by retrograde neurotransmitters
  • Chronic stress induced adaptations in hypothalamic brain circuits
  • Imaging CRH neuron activity in vivo with genetically encoded calcium indicators

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Selected publications

Power, E. M., & Iremonger, K. J. (2022, August-September). Estrous cycle differences in hypothalamic CRH neuron activity. Poster session presented at the New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Kim, J. S., Ganeshan, D., Grattan, D. R., & Iremonger, K. J. (2022, August-September). Hyothalamic CRH neuron activity in motherhood is not altered during stress but can be suppressed by pup exposure. Poster session presented at the New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Perkinson, M. R., Kim, J. S., Brown, C. H., & Iremonger, K. J. (2022, August-September). In vivo monitoring of oxytocin neuron activity in freely-behaving, lactating mice. Poster session presented at the New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Ohline, S. M., Liu, X., Ibrahim, M. F., Mockett, B., Empson, R. M., Abraham, W. C., Iremonger, K. J., & Jones, P. P. (2022, August-September). Altered membrance properties but unchanged intrinsic excitability and spontaneous postsynaptic currents in an aged APPswe/PS1dE9 model of Alzheimer's disease. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Paul, J., Johnson, S., & Iremonger, K. (2022, August-September). Developing a zebrafish (Danio rerio) model to study behavioural and neuroendocrine responses to stress. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Tripp, I. T., Iremonger, K. J., & Kim, J. S. (2022, August-September). Investigating the role of CRH neurons in the selection of defensive behaviours. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Zheng, S., Schwenke, D., & Iremonger, K. J. (2022, August-September). Studying the relationship between CRH neuron activity, behaviour, and pulsatile corticosterone secretion. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Ohline, S. M., Liu, X., Ibrahim, M. F., Mockett, B. G., Empson, R. M., Abraham, W. C., Iremonger, K. J., & Jones, P. P. (2022). Altered membrane properties but unchanged intrinsic excitability and spontaneous postsynaptic currents in an aged APPswe/PS1dE9 model of Alzheimer’s disease. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 16, 958876. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2022.958876

Iremonger, K. J. (2022). Regulation of CRH neuronal network activity by noradrenergic stress signals. Journal of Physiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1113/JP283328

Abbasi, M., Augustine, R. A., Iremonger, K. J., & Brown, C. H. (2022). Central kisspeptin does not affect ERK1/2 or p38 phosphorylation in oxytocin neurons of late-pregnant rats. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(14), 7729. doi: 10.3390/ijms23147729

Abbasi, M., Perkinson, M. R., Seymour, A. J., Piet, R., Campbell, R. E., Iremonger, K. J., & Brown, C. H. (2022). Local kisspeptin excitation of rat oxytocin neurones in late pregnancy. Journal of Physiology, 600(7), 1753-1770. doi: 10.1113/jp282531

Jamieson, B. B., Kim, J. S., & Iremonger, K. J. (2022). Cannabinoid and vanilloid pathways mediate opposing forms of synaptic plasticity in corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 34, e13084. doi: 10.1111/jne.13084

Power, E. M., & Iremonger, K. J. (2021). Plasticity of intrinsic excitability across the estrous cycle in hypothalamic CRH neurons. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 16700. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-96341-4

Perkinson, M. R., Kim, J. S., Iremonger, K. J., & Brown, C. H. (2021). Visualising oxytocin neurone activity in vivo: The key to unlocking central regulation of parturition and lactation [Invited review]. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 33, e13012. doi: 10.1111/jne.13012

Nair, B. B., Khant Aung, Z., Porteous, R., Prescott, M., Glendining, K. A., Jenkins, D. E., Augustine, R. A., Silva, M. S. B., 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, 33, e12972. doi: 10.1111/jne.12972

Perkinson, M. R., Kim, J. S., Brown, C. H., & Iremonger, K. J. (2020). Characterisation of an oxytocin-ires-cre mouse model for recording oxytocin neuron bursts in behaving mice. FASEB Journal, 34(Suppl. 1). doi: 10.1096/fasebj.2020.34.s1.03560

Abbasi, M., Perkinson, M., Brown, C., & Iremonger, K. (2020). Kisspeptin regulation of oxytocin neuron activity in late pregnancy. FASEB Journal, 34(Suppl. 1). doi: 10.1096/fasebj.2020.34.s1.02418

Focke, C. M. B., & Iremonger, K. J. (2020). Rhythmicity matters: Circadian and ultradian patterns of HPA axis activity. Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology, 501, 110652. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2019.110652

Focke, C. M. B., & Iremonger, K. (2019, September). Do hypothalamic CRH neurons express circadian and ultradian activity patterns? Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Abbasi, M., Perkinson, M. R., Iremonger, K. J., & Brown, C. H. (2019, August-September). Local kisspeptin regulation of oxytocin neuron activity in late pregnancy. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Power, E. M., & Iremonger, K. J. (2019, August-September). Ion channel mechanisms underlying sex differences in hypothalamic CRH neuron excitability. Verbal presentation at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Kim, J. S., & Iremonger, K. J. (2019). Stress experience and hormone feedback tune distinct components of hypothalamic CRH neuron activity. In K. Hillman (Ed.), Proceedings of the 37th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR). (pp. 69). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Zheng, S., & Iremonger, K. J. (2019). Investigating the mechanisms driving circadian and sex differences in the stress axis. In K. Hillman (Ed.), Proceedings of the 37th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR). (pp. 43). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Power, E. M., & Iremonger, K. J. (2019). Understanding sex differences in neural circuits controlling stress. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. 320.17/U16. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org

Iremonger, K. J., Sherrington, A., Kim, J. S., Gouws, J., & Chandrasekera, D. (2019). Sexually dimorphic corticosteroid induced plasticity in corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. 320.16/U15. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org

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