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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. (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, e13012. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.13012

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

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

Focke, C. M. B., & Iremonger, K. (2019). Ultradian and circadian rhythms in hypothalamic CRH neuron activity and their relation to home cage behavior. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. 320.115/U14. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org

Kim, J. S., & Iremonger, K. J. (2019). Stress experience and hormone feedback tune distinct components of CRH neuron activity. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting. 320.14/U13. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org

Kim, J. S., Han, S. Y., & Iremonger, K. J. (2019). Stress experience and hormone feedback tune distinct components of hypothalamic CRH neuron activity. Nature Communications, 10, 5696. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13639-8

Kim, J. S., & Iremonger, K. J. (2019). Temporally tuned corticosteroid feedback regulation of the stress axis. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 30(11), 783-792. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2019.07.005

Bittar, T. P., Nair, B. B., Kim, J. S., Chandrasekera, D., Sherrington, A., & Iremonger, K. J. (2019). Corticosterone mediated functional and structural plasticity in corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons. Neuropharmacology, 154, 79-86. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2019.02.017

Sherrington, A. J., Kim, J. S., & Iremonger, K. J. (2018, November). Sexually dimorphic corticosteroid negative feedback in hypothalamic CRH neurons. Poster session presented at the Women’s Wellbeing Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abbasi, M., Iremonger, K. J., & Brown, C. H. (2018, August). Kisspeptin regulation of oxytocin neuron activity in late pregnancy. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Kim, J. S., & Iremonger, K. J. (2018, August). A duet of stress adaptation and negative feedback tunes stress neuron activity dynamics. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Sherrington, A. J., Kim, J. S., & Iremonger, K. J. (2018, August). Sexually dimorphic corticosteroid negative feedback in hypothalamic CRH neurons. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress (MedSci), Queenstown, New Zealand.

Focke, C., & Iremonger, K. (2018). Investigating the natural rhythms if CRH neuron excitability over the day. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN). (pp. 155). Retrieved from http://www.icn2018.org/

Kim, J., & Iremonger, K. (2018). Stress familiarity but not fast negative feedback robustly tunes stress neuron output. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN). (pp. 150-151). Retrieved from http://www.icn2018.org/

Iremonger, K., & Gouws, J. (2018). Regulation of CRH neuronal network activity by noradrenergic stress signals. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN). (pp. 149). Retrieved from http://www.icn2018.org/

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