Areas of Interest
Research activities are centered on the neuroendocrine regulation of ovarian cyclicity. Within this general area, our work addresses mechanisms by which various stressful stimuli are converted into endocrine signals disrupt the ovulatory cycle. Our present focus is on functional interactions between the hypothalamo-pitutitary adrenal axis and the reproductive neuroendocrine system during stress-induced suppression of the cycle. Our research approach is integrative. We combine whole animal manipulative and neurosurgical procedures to detail the secretory pattern of hormones in peripheral and pituitary portal blood, and immunocytochemical analyses of pituitary and hypothalamic tissues to identify cell types and receptors that mediate the effects of stressful stimuli on reproductive activity.
Karsch, F.J., Battaglia, D.F., Breen, K.M., Debus, N., and Harris, T.G. "Mechanisms for Ovarian Cycle Disruption by Immune / Inflammatory Stress." Stress, 5: 101-122, 2002
Breen, K.M. and Karsch, F.J., "Does Cortisol Inhibit Pulsatile LH Secretion at the Hypothalamic or Pituitary Level?" Endocrinology, 145: 692-698, 2004
Breen, K.M., Stackpole, C.A., Clarke, I.J., Pytiak, A.V., Tilbrook, A.J., Wagenmaker, E.R., Young E.A., and Karsch, F.J.. "Does the Type II Glucocorticoid Receptor Mediate Cortisol-Induced Suppression of Pituitary Responsiveness to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone?" Endocrinology, 145: 2739-2746, 2004