Indiana University Bloomington
Sengelabs

Research

Neuroprotective effects of testosterone in two models of spinal motoneuron injury
We have demonstrated that the gonadal steroid testosterone has therapeutic effects in the spinal cord, protecting surviving motor neurons from atrophy after the death of neighboring motor neurons, and regulating the expression of receptors for trophic factors, proteins critical for the maintenance of normal structure and function.  This work has important implications in that if the appropriate trophic support can be provided to injured motor neurons, then the progression of neurodegenerative diseases could be slowed, or the time required for the recovery of motor function after injury could be reduced. More >>

Maternal effects in the development of a sexually dimorphic neuromuscular system
Early social contact between mother and offspring influences offspring neural development and reproductive behavior.  This project focuses on the effects of maternal care on the development of the spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus (SNB) of rats, a sexually dimorphic motoneuron population, which in males innervates muscles at the base of the penis that control copulatory penile reflexes. More >>

Development and plasticity of hormone-sensitive motoneurons
In the rat brain, estradiol is considered to be responsible for the differentiation of sexually dimorphic brain regions.  In contrast, the development of sexually dimorphic nuclei in the rat spinal cord has been considered to be regulated by androgens and not estradiol. More >>